The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has charged Latite Roofing and Sheet Metal, one of the largest roofing contractors in South Florida, with worker-safety violations for the ninth time in the last five years.
OSHA, part of the Department of Labor, proposed a $136,000 fine for six violations inspectors witnessed at work sites in Naples, Plantation and the Glenvar Heights area of Miami-Dade County. Pompano Beach-based Latite is legally entitled to dispute the fine. Company officials could not be reached for comment.
OSHA cited Latite for allowing workers to work at heights of 10, 15 and 20 feet without proper protection to mitigate the risk of falling.
Among other incidents that have led to OSHA citations, lightning last year killed a 55-year-old Latite worker, Robert Elliott, on the job. Elliot kept working during a rainstorm at the direction of Latite supervisors, according to investigators.
“Latite Roofing has an extensive OSHA inspection history, but continues to expose employees to life-threatening safety hazards,” Condell Eastmond, director of the OSHA office in Fort Lauderdale, said in a statement. “Residential roofing work can be deadly when safety measures are not enforced. … Latite must assess its work practices immediately to ensure workers are protected.”
The Miami Herald investigation last year found that Latite and hundreds of other contractors illegally classified employees as independent contractors to avoid federal taxes and bid more aggressively for work. [Miami Herald] – Mike Seemuth