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Region 3 News Release: 13-2432-PHI (osha 14-004)
Jan. 8, 2014
Contact: Leni Fortson      Joanna Hawkins
Phone: 215-861-5102      215-861-5101
Email: uddyback-fortson.lenore@dol.gov      hawkins.joanna@dol.gov

Jenkintown, Pa., roofing company cited by US Labor Department's OSHA for
exposing workers to fall hazards following fatal June accident

Editor's Note: This re-issued news release corrects the name of OSHA's acting director in the Philadelphia Area Office and the number of serious violations cited.

JENKINTOWN, Pa. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Jenkintown-based James J. McCullagh Roofing Inc. for 10 alleged safety violations-including three willful-following its investigation of a fatal accident in June when a worker fell 45 feet from a roof while performing roofing repairs on a church in Philadelphia.

"This tragic accident could have been prevented had the company provided the proper fall protection for employees," said Jean Kulp, acting director of OSHA's Philadelphia Area Office. "It's vital that these hazards be corrected to protect employees in the future."

The willful violations were due to a lack of fall protection for employees performing roofing work as high as 45 feet from the ground level and a lack of fall protection for employees working from a roof bracket scaffold. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

Seven serious violations include the company's failure to:

  • Ensure only one employee, not two, worked from a scaffold platform that was only intended to support one employee.
  • Ensure a roof bracket scaffold was not loaded in excess of its maximum intended load.
  • Properly erect and attach a roof bracket scaffold for employees performing roofing work on the scaffold.
  • Provide fall protection for employees working from a roof bracket scaffold.
  • Provide training for employees involved in erecting, disassembling, moving, operating, repairing, maintaining or inspecting scaffolds.
  • Provide employees working 45 feet above the next lower level with the correct type of rope lifeline
  • Restrain the ends of the scaffold platform.
  • Provide the proper anchorage points for personal fall arrest systems.

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.

OSHA's fall prevention campaign provides employers and workers with lifesaving information and educational materials about working safely from ladders, scaffolds and roofs. More information on fall protection standards is available in English and Spanish at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls.

James J. McCullagh Roofing Inc. received $71,600 in penalties. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director in Philadelphia, or contest the citations and proposed penalties 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 Philadelphia Area Office at 215-597-4955.

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 http://www.osha.gov.

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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 303-693-7838 or TTY 303-693-7755.


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