DAVIE, FL – In 2018, federal workplace safety investigators cited a Pompano Beach roofing contractor who exposed its workers to the construction industry’s most lethal hazard, falls from elevation. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined that the company’s failure to heed that warning claimed the life of a 25-year-old worker in February 2022.

An OSHA investigation after the incident found that J & L Roofing Inc. allowed employees to tear off an existing roof without fall protection at a two-story residence in Davie. The worker fell from the roof onto a lower level and then to the ground. The incident occurred on Jan. 19, 2022, and the worker succumbed to his injuries after 29 days in a hospital.

OSHA cited the company for one willful violation for exposing workers engaged in roofing activities to fall hazards without protection, and one serious violation for failing to train workers on the correct use of fall arrest systems. The agency also issued an other-than-serious violation for failing to report a work-related hospitalization within 24-hours and a fatality within 8 hours as the law requires.

The agency has proposed $74,751 in penalties.

“Had J & L Roofing Inc. ensured that its workers were protected from the construction industry’s leading cause of death, a young man’s life could have been spared,” said OSHA Area Office Director Condell Eastmond in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “Instead, a family and a community are left to grieve and an employer is learning a painful lesson that federal workplace safety standards exist to help prevent needless and unnecessary tragedies.” 

In 2018, OSHA issued a citation to J & L Roofing Inc. for its failure to ensure the use of fall protection at a Tamarac worksite.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that falls remain the leading cause of death in the construction industry, accounting for 368 fatalities in 2020, of which 39 happened in Florida. They account for about one in every three workplace fatalities.      

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

Visit OSHA’s website for information on developing a workplace safety and health program. Employers can also contact the agency for information about OSHA’s compliance assistance resources and for free help on complying with OSHA standards.

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