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Region 1 News Release: 12-134-BOS/BOS 2012-017
Jan. 31, 2012
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074
Email: fitzgerald.edmund@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA cites Reading, Mass., roofer for exposing
workers to fall hazards at Topsfield, Mass., work site, proposes $42,000 in fines

ANDOVER, Mass. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Baystate Roofers Inc. with 10 alleged serious violations of safety standards at a Topsfield work site for exposing workers to fall hazards. The Reading-based roofing contractor faces a total of $42,000 in proposed fines.

An inspection by OSHA's Andover Area Office found employees exposed to falls while working on a ladder jack scaffold atop the roof of a building located on High Street. The violations include failing to provide personal fall protection; train workers to recognize fall hazards; provide head and eye protection; and properly set up, secure and inspect ladders for damage. Additionally, an improperly erected scaffold had damaged components, exceeded the maximum allowable height of 20 feet and had not been inspected for defects prior to the start of work. 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.

"Protecting workers against deadly or disabling hazards such as these requires diligence on the part of the employer," said Jeffrey A. Erskine, OSHA's area director for Middlesex and Essex counties. "A competent person must inspect equipment to ensure that it is without defects and properly erected, and employees must be trained to recognize and address conditions that could harm them."

Detailed information on scaffolding and