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Region 1 News Release: 12-134-BOS/BOS 2012-017
Jan. 31, 2012
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074


US Labor Department's OSHA cites Reading, Mass., roofer for exposing
workers to fall hazards at Topsfield, Mass., work site, proposes $42,000 in fines

ANDOVER, Mass. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Baystate Roofers Inc. with 10 alleged serious violations of safety standards at a Topsfield work site for exposing workers to fall hazards. The Reading-based roofing contractor faces a total of $42,000 in proposed fines.

An inspection by OSHA's Andover Area Office found employees exposed to falls while working on a ladder jack scaffold atop the roof of a building located on High Street. The violations include failing to provide personal fall protection; train workers to recognize fall hazards; provide head and eye protection; and properly set up, secure and inspect ladders for damage. Additionally, an improperly erected scaffold had damaged components, exceeded the maximum allowable height of 20 feet and had not been inspected for defects prior to the start of work. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

"Protecting workers against deadly or disabling hazards such as these requires diligence on the part of the employer," said Jeffrey A. Erskine, OSHA's area director for Middlesex and Essex counties. "A competent person must inspect equipment to ensure that it is without defects and properly erected, and employees must be trained to recognize and address conditions that could harm them."

Detailed information on scaffolding and fall hazards and safeguards is available at and

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Andover office at 978-837-4460.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit

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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.