A story that began with citations and penalties issued for a Hudson, New Hampshire work site ended recently in court, where more than a dozen affiliated roofing companies agreed to fundamentally change their approach to safety.
The U.S. Department of Labor is calling the settlement agreement it reached with Nations Roof LLC and Nations Roof of New England LLC – along with its 14 affiliated companies – an “enterprise-wide” agreement in which the companies agree to completely reinvent a uniform safety and health program. Labor Department regional solicitor Michael Felsen said enterprise-wide agreements result in enhanced safety and health for the entire workforce of an employer with multiple locations and subsidiaries.
The changes will include significant improvements to employee training, safety and health planning, work site inspections, and management structure and accountability.
"In this settlement, Nations Roof goes beyond correcting hazards and paying a fine," said Marthe Kent, OSHA's New England regional administrator. "It commits itself to a proactive safety and health culture that will emphasize training and awareness to minimize roofing and construction hazards companywide.”
Nations Roof will appoint safety/health directors for each company. That individual, along with a supervisory employee, will complete OSHA’s 30-hour construction safety course, after which the director must become certified to teach the course and all other potentially exposed employees will receive at least the OSHA 10-hour safety course plus eight additional hours dedicated to fall protection.
In addition, site-specific safety plans will be developed at each work site and reviewed daily with employees, and every active work site will be inspected daily by a foreman and weekly by a project manager. Nations Roof will audit four active work sites of each affiliate per year, institute a safety and health curriculum as part of its management development program, and implement performance reviews for all affiliate presidents and safety/health directors.
The company also will submit compliance reports to OSHA; report jobs, injuries and illnesses to the agency; and allow OSHA to monitor compliance with the agreement. Finally, Nations Roof will pay $34,750 in fines and verify correction of all hazards cited at the Hudson work site.
In addition to Nations Roof of New England, which is based in Connecticut, the affiliates include Nations Roof National Service Center and Nations Roof South, both based in Georgia; Nations Roof East, based in New York; Nations Roof North, based in Wisconsin; Nations Roof of California; Nations Roof West, also based in California; Nations Roof of Carolinas, based in North Carolina; Nations Roof of Florida; Nations Roof South Florida; Nations Roof Central, based in Texas; Nations Roof MidAtlantic, based in Virginia; Nations Roof of Illinois; and Nations Roof of Ohio.