Washington roofers face fines of $750,000 for putting workers at risk

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The Washington Department of Labor and Industry fined three Washington roofing companies a total of $768,000 for reportedly allowing workers to roof on houses without using fall protection and for other safety violations.

Always Roofing of Snohomish County, Wilson Roofing and Construction LLC of Kirkland and Valentine Roofing Inc. of Tukwila have historically ignored safety requirements, and these new subpoenas and fines are the latest, according to L&I.

Allways Roofing was fined $425,000 for seven safety violations, including two egregious, intentional, repeat violations. Fines apply to failure to use fall protection or the use of physical roof mounts as tie-off points. L&I also sued the employer for workers’ failure to wear eye protection when using nail guns, improper use of ladders and other safety violations observed by inspectors at a Snohomish home.

Allways Roofing was reportedly fined $1.2 million six months ago for the same violations. And about a year ago, it was fined nearly $375,000. The company participates in the Severe Violators Enforcement Program, which puts the company under closer scrutiny.

Allways Roofing reportedly had at least seven serious injuries, including five falls from a height and two eye injuries from nail guns.

Wilson Roofing & Construction has been fined $247,000 for six safety violations, including two egregious, willful, repeat violations for failing to provide fall protection and other safety violations while roofing a home in Ferndale.

During an inspection, three roofers were reportedly seen wearing harnesses not attached to tie off ropes while working on a steep roof with a drop of about 22 feet.

L&I has inspected Wilson Roofing & Construction twice in the last three years following falls from heights that have reportedly hospitalized employees. In March 2019, the company was subpoenaed and fined $42,000 for failing to ensure its roofers used fall protection systems. Wilson Roofing & Construction is now considered a serious violation.

A homeowner in Lake Tapps contacted L&I after photographing Valentine Roofing employees working at heights of up to 16 feet on the roof, allegedly without fall protection and without eye protection, while using a nail gun.

State inspectors said they also observed skylights and roof holes that had no guard rails to prevent workers from falling through.

L&I fined Valentine Roofing $94,000 for four serious safety violations. The agency has inspected the company nine times in the past three years and repeatedly reported it for fall protection violations.

Allways Roofing and Wilson Roofing have appealed the subpoenas and fines. Valentine Roofing has until January 27 to appeal.

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