Roofing contractor with history of deadly falls, failed to protect workers

Two men working on the roof

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a Trenton roofing contractor with a history of exposing workers to potentially deadly falls, after inspections at three worksites where the employer again intentionally failed to protect workers from falls as they installed roofs in Mahwah, Upper Saddle River, and River Vale.

As part of its Local Emphasis Programs on falls in construction, OSHA opened an inspection on March 18, 2022, at a Mahwah worksite of Guelsin Lima, operating as Extreme Roofing and Siding LLC, after observing a worker working on a roof without fall protection. 

In three subsequent inspections, OSHA determined that Lima failed to provide fall protection and head and/or eye protection for workers installing roofing shingles.

The agency issued Lima citations for four willful and two serious violations, and proposed $247,309 in penalties.

Falls are the leading cause of death in construction work. OSHA reports that 351 of the 1,008 construction workers who died on the job in 2020 were victims of falls from elevations.

“Guelsin Lima continues to put employees at risk of potentially fatal injuries by blatantly permitting them to work without critical safeguards like fall protection,” said OSHA Area Director Lisa Levy, in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey.

“Past OSHA inspections have made the employer fully aware of federal requirements for keeping workers safe and yet they callously ignore them. We will continue to hold employers like this accountable when they fail to meet their legal obligation to provide safe work conditions,” said Levy.

Fall-related injuries and fatalities can be prevented through knowledge and training. Visit OSHA’s website for information on fall protection in residential construction and protecting roofing workers.

Guelsin Lima is a residential roofing and siding contractor with 16 employees.

The company had 15 days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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