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Region 1 News Release: 10-1752-BOS/BOS 2010-507
Dec. 20, 2010
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074
E-mail: fitzgerald.edmund@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA cites North Reading, Mass., roofing contractor
for fall and scaffolding hazards at Melrose, Mass., worksite
O'Keefe Roofing faces more than $41,000 in proposed fines

ANDOVER, Mass. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited O'Keefe Roofing, a North Reading, Mass., roofing contractor, for repeat and serious safety hazards at a Melrose, Mass., jobsite. The company faces a total of $41,580 in proposed fines, chiefly for fall and scaffolding hazards, after an OSHA inspector observed O'Keefe Roofing employees working without fall protection while installing a new roof at 12 Batchelder St.

OSHA's inspection determined that employees lacked fall protection while working on the roof, on a ladderjack scaffold and while using a ladder that did not extend at least 3 feet above the roof's edge for required stability. The inspection also found that the scaffold was erected in close proximity to an energized power line, was more than the maximum allowed height of 20 feet and was improperly constructed. In addition, the employees lacked sufficient training to be able to identify scaffolding and fall hazards.

"The danger of fall hazards cannot be understated. Falls are the leading cause of death in construction work," said Jeffrey A. Erskine, OSHA's area director for Middlesex and Essex counties in Massachusetts. "When fall protection is absent, workers can be only seconds away from a deadly or disabling plunge. The employer must take effective steps to ensure that proper safeguards are in place and in use at all jobsites."

As a result of its inspection, OSHA issu