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Roofing company fined; superintendent charged with obstruction (4/3)

Winter's Architectural Roofing Co., an Illinois-based roofing company, has been fined $224,000 by OSHA for alleged safety and health violations following OSHA’s investigation after the death of an employee.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of Illinois at Rock Island also charged Stephen Vyncke, a superintendent employed by Winter's, for allegedly obstructing OSHA's investigation of the accident. Obstruction of an agency proceeding is a felony offense.

On Oct. 10, 2007, an employee was killed when he fell 16 feet through a skylight. OSHA issued eight willful citations to the company for its failure to provide fall protection in hoisting areas and on low-sloped roofs; failing to cover skylight openings to prevent falls; and not training employees about fall hazards. Seven of the citations allege per-instance willful violations of three OSHA requirements.

Prior to this investigation, OSHA inspected Winter's Architectural Roofing in 2002, resulting in a serious citation for failing to provide fall protection during roofing operations. The company has been in business since 1937.

"The Occupational Safety and Health Administration applauds the U.S. Attorney's decision to prosecute Vyncke because it sends a strong message that obstructing an OSHA investigation is a serious offense that will not be tolerated," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin G. Foulke Jr.

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