Department of Labor Logo OSHA News Release - Region 7


April 5, 2024

St. Louis contractor faces $267K in fines after again exposing roofing workers to potentially deadly fall hazards, this time at 5 Wentzville job sites

H R Vasquez Construction cited 7 times for fall safety violations since 2021

ST. LOUIS – Federal workplace safety inspectors found a Missouri roofing contractor again risking the safety of its employees by failing to protect them against the construction industry's deadliest hazard — falls from heights— at five residential worksites in Wentzville in October and November 2023.

Inspectors with the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration opened investigations after observing H R Vasquez Construction, LLC employees working on roofs without required fall protection equipment at separate sites on Oct. 25, 27, 30, Nov. 2 and Nov. 28, 2023.

Specifically, OSHA found the St. Louis company did not provide employees with fall protection as they worked at heights greater than six feet and failed to ensure workers using pneumatic nail guns wore personal eye and face protective equipment. H R Vasquez Construction also allowed the improper use of ladders, had not developed a written hazard communication program, and did not begin or maintain an accident prevention program.

In all, OSHA cited the company for 13 violations – nine repeat, three serious and one other-than-serious – and assessed $267,332 in proposed penalties.

Since 2021, the agency has cited the contractor seven times for putting roofing workers in danger. The agency first identified three serious violations related to a lack of required fall protection by H R Vasquez Construction in October 2021 at a Ballwin work site. Another inspection in Chesterfield in June 2022 led OSHA to cite the company for two repeat violations.

"OSHA repeatedly finds roofing contractors like H R Vasquez Construction ignoring federal safety regulations and exposing workers to the construction industry’s deadliest hazard," explained OSHA Area Director Bill McDonald in St. Louis. "Falls from heights often lead to permanent or fatal injuries which is why these regulations must be taken seriously. There is no excuse for putting profit before people."

In 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 1,069 construction workers died on the job. Of those deaths, 395 were related to falls from elevation.

As part of a continuing effort to prevent fall-related fatalities in construction, the agency, industry and safety groups, and other worker advocates are encouraging construction employers and workers to join the 11th annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, May 6-10, 2024. Partnering with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, National Occupational Research Agenda, Center for Construction Research and Training, American Society of Safety Professionals, National Safety Council, National Construction Safety Executives, OSHA Training Institute Education Centers, state consultation programs and OSHA-approved state plans, the agency invites employers and workers to learn how to conduct a safety stand-down and view a video on fall safety that includes a message from a former construction worker and fall survivor.

OSHA's stop falls website offers safety information and video presentations in English and Spanish to teach workers about fall hazards and proper safety procedures. The agency also offers compliance assistance resources on Protecting Roofing Workers and recommendations for developing a safety and health program.

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

Learn more about OSHA.

Media Contacts:

Scott Allen, 312-353-4727, allen.scott@dol.gov
Rhonda Burke, 312-353-4807, burke.rhonda@dol.gov

Release Number: 24-648- KAN