Two roofing companies face more than a million dollars in total fines for repeatedly putting workers at risk of dangerous falls
September 21, 2022
TUMWATER — Two Washington roofing companies on the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) severe violators list are facing large fines for allowing roofers to work on top of homes without using fall protection, among other safety violations.
Allways Roofing, Inc., Snohomish
L&I has inspected Allways Roofing 11 times in the pasts three years - all prompted by reports of roofers not wearing fall protection.
The two most recent citations include $788,000 in fines. Always Roofing has amassed nearly $2.5 million in penalties over the past 15 months:
August - $201,727
July - $586,281
November 2021 - $424,964
May 2021 - $1,243,000
Many of the violations for which L&I inspectors have cited the company are fore repeatedly ignoring fall protection rules. The egregious and willful citations are the most sever penalty imposed by L&I. Several of these citations are still in the appeals process.
Falling from heights is one of the leading causes of workplace deaths and serious injuries. Allways Roofing has had at least seven serious injuries including five falls from heights and two eye injuries from nail guns.
“On the latest inspections, we heard from a concerned neighbor who saw a worker nearly fall off a roof before the foreman was able to grab them just before they went over the edge,” said Craig Blackwood, assistant director of L&I’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health. “It’s only a matter of time before we’re inspecting a fatality at one of their worksites.”
Allways Roofing has been, and will remain in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program and is subject to greater scrutiny.
United Roofing Solutions, Inc., Olympia
United Roofing Solutions, another company considered a severe violator, is also facing a new round of fines for repeated violations. L&I opened an inspection of the company last March after a compliance safety and health officer drove by a job site and observed six roofers on top of a house not wearing fall protection or safety glasses.
United Roofing Solutions has been inspected by L&I a dozen times since it opened in 2009 and has been cited and fined more than $500,000 for workers not wearing fall protection. In the most recent case, the company was cited for repeat, willful, serious violations for not using fall protection, a $305,254 penalty.
“United is showing intentional disregard for the safety of their workers,” said Blackwood. “We will be relentless in our efforts to protect their workers, even if they don’t.”
United Roofing Solutions has appealed the citation and fine. Allways Roofing did not file an appeal.
Preventing falls in construction
Information and training are key to preventing this type of workplace tragedy. L&I has a fall protection digital tool to help employers and workers learn fall protection rules and other ways to stay safe on the job. If you see roofers working without fall protection, you can report it anonymously online or call L&I at 800-423-7733.
Verify a contractor Homeowners should do their homework as well. When hiring a company for roofing or any other construction project, use our Verify a Contractor tool to make sure the business is registered. They can see if the company is licensed, bonded and insured. Hiring an unregistered contractor puts homeowners at financial risk if anything goes wrong on the project. There’s also information regarding any history the company may have of violating safety rules.