Roofing contractor sentenced to prison for lying to OSHA

Philadelphia – A Pennsylvania-based roofing contractor who lied to OSHA in the aftermath of an employee death was sentenced March 29 to 10 months in prison.

James J. McCullagh, 60, pleaded guilty in December to four counts of making false statements, one count of obstruction of justice and one count of willfully violating an OSHA rule that caused a worker’s death.

In June 2013, one of McCullagh’s employees fell 45 feet from a roof bracket scaffold and died. During an investigation, OSHA determined McCullagh did not provide fall protection equipment to his employees. However, McCullagh lied to investigators about this fact on four occasions, and he directed other employees to tell investigators that they had been provided with fall protection gear.

Prosecutions of OSHA violators are rare, but they are growing in number. Recently, the Departments of Labor and Justice entered into an agreement to increase cooperation in the prosecution of individuals who disregard labor and environmental statutes.

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