Snohomish roofing company fined $1.2M for safety violations

State inspectors noted a dozen “willful serious violations.” Allways Roofing says it will appeal.

SNOHOMISH — A Snohomish roofing company is in trouble with the state, again, for allegedly putting workers’ lives in danger.

The state Department of Labor & Industries announced Thursday that it’s assessing Allways Roofing more than $1.2 million.

“We are appealing those safety citations,” Richard Ovak, owner of Allways Roofing, wrote in an email to The Daily Herald.

According to a news release, state inspectors found a dozen “willful serious violations” at three job sites, in Snohomish and Lake Stevens, between December and March.

In at least one instance, employees were working on a steep roof with no fall protection. Inspectors also noted times when ladders either weren’t set up or weren’t being used correctly, and workers using pneumatic nail guns weren’t wearing eye protection.

Allways Roofing also had nine “general” violations. The company wasn’t holding safety meetings and wasn’t keeping record of safety inspections, according to the news release.

On the company’s website, Ovak promises low quotes, good results and “complete satisfaction” for the customer.

“No shortcuts, no secrets, only honest friendly service,” he wrote. “It’s time to separate the amateurs from the professionals.”

The large fine is due, in part, to the fact that Allways Roofing is a repeat offender.

Since 2010, L&I has cited the company for more than a dozen safety violations. Last year, it was fined nearly $375,000 for violations found at work sites in Woodinville and Arlington. There have been at least four claims by workers who have fallen off steep roofs, resulting in serious injuries and hospitalizations.

The company is on the agency’s “Severe Violator Program.”

“This isn’t a case of the company not knowing what the rules are,” said Craig Blackwood, acting assistant director for the division of occupational safety and health, in the news release. “They’ve blatantly chosen to ignore them, putting their workers at serious risk. … We hope these substantial fines will be the wake-up call that finally motivates Allways Roofing to keep their people safe, before one of their workers is killed.”

Falls are the most common cause of death in construction, according to L&I. Last year, four workers died after they fell from a roof, a ladder or other construction-related activities.

Zachariah Bryan: 425-339-3431; zbryan@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @zachariahtb.

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