Roofing contractor receives stiff penalties for unsafe working conditions

OHSA penalties total nearly $200,000

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – A St. Johns County roofing contractor received multiple workplace citations for putting workers in unsafe conditions, according to a news brief released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted two separate inspections of Chris Sawdo Construction job sites at Samara Lakes in St. Augustine and the Durbin Crossing subdivision in St. Johns. Inspectors said they saw employees installing roofing sheathing without fall protection and initiated the inspections under the agency’s Regional Emphasis Program on Falls in Construction.

OSHA issued the company two “willful” citations, one repeated and one a serious safety violation. The willful citations are related to the employer’s failure to protect his workers with a fall protection system when working from heights up to 20 feet. The repeated violation involves not properly extending a roof access ladder above the ground. The agency also cited Sawdo with a serious citation for failing to set up a roof access ladder with the proper angle.

READ: Chris Sawdo Contruction St. Augustine site citations | St. Johns site citations

The proposed penalties total $199,107.

OSHA has cited the Sawdo previously six times since 2004 for willful, repeat and serious violations for a lack of fall protection and ladder safety.

“Chris Sawdo Construction continues to willfully ignore OSHA’s fall protection standards, despite an extensive OSHA history, being suspended as a subcontractor by homebuilders and being in the residential construction industry for 20 years,” Brian Sturtecky, OSHA’s area director in Jacksonville, said. “The employer must take immediate action to eliminate putting workers at risk of serious injury or death.”

Based in Middleburg, Chris Sawdo Construction is a residential roofing contractor. OSHA said the company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.