A Maine company could pay more than $500,000 in government fines after a federal labor agency said its owner refused to provide his construction workers with required protections while they worked on roofs that were as high as 18 feet, in violation of U.S. labor law.
ARP Roofing & Siding LLC, which operates with New Jersey-based ARP Renovation LLC as a single company, did not provide protection to employees on multiple occasions while they worked on roofs in Hampden, and repeatedly refused to rectify the situation when warned, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Thursday.
Federal law requires companies to provide guardrails, safety nets, personal fall arrest systems or other such safety protection when residential construction workers are exposed to heights of 6 feet or higher.
At least five workers were exposed to conditions that could have resulted in falls of 10 to 18 feet while working on buildings on Victoria Way in Hampden, OSHA said.
ARP Roofing owner Andrew Pollock’s refusal to provide fall protection earned him three egregious willful violations, which carried penalties of $435,081, said Galen Blanton, OSHA’s Boston Administrator.
The agency also posted an “imminent danger” notice at the job site. Imminent danger notices do not immediately force employers to shut down.
Pollock was cited for four other serious violations, which carried $66,295 in proposed penalties, for not training employees about fall hazards or about ladder safety; not ensuring that ladder side-rails were extended 3 feet above an upper landing surface; and for not ensuring that employees wore head protection when working below roofing operations.
“Every employee working without fall protection at the Hampden jobsite was exposed to potentially deadly or disabling falls, despite Mr. Pollock’s knowledge that this safeguard was required and necessary,” Blanton said, noting that falls were the leading cause of death for construction workers.
ARP Roofing was also cited for not maintaining illness and injury records, a less serious labor law violation.
The roofing company has 15 business days to comply, contest the charges or enter into negotiations with the OSHA Boston office.
Pollock said on Friday that he was meeting with OSHA officials to discuss the proposed penalties. His company was previously cited for fall hazards on job sites in New Jersey in 2014 and 2021.