DIR Launches Roofing Compliance Working Group

Sep 03, 2013, 15:27 ET from Dept. of Industrial Relations

OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) today officially launches the Roofing Compliance Working Group to enforce safety and labor law standards in this key industry in California.

The Roofing Compliance Working Group (RCWG) is an arm of the Labor Enforcement Task Force (LETF), a multi-agency effort to combat the underground economy and improve the state's business environment. RCWG is a collaboration of state and local agencies as well as labor and management. The group's objectives include rapid response to complaints of workplace health and safety hazards in the roofing industry, as well as investigation of complaints related to payroll, misclassification and workers' compensation issues.

"The roofing industry by nature comes with inherent risks, and we want to improve workplace safety for workers and help business owners who play by the rules to thrive," said DIR Director Christine Baker.

Roofing related falls result in devastating injuries to workers and very high costs of workers' compensation.  According to data released by the Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau, there were 367 roofing-related falls from scaffolds, ladders, elevations, and into openings such as skylights in California from 2008-2010. These preventable accidents resulted in total indemnity and medical costs of over $70 million.

The Roofing Compliance Working Group comprises the Labor Commissioner's Office and Cal/OSHA (both divisions of DIR), as well as the Employment Development Department, the Contractor's State Licensing Board, the State Compensation Insurance Fund, the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office, the San Francisco City and County District Attorney's Office, UC Berkeley's Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP), Associated Roofing Contractors, the Bay Area Roofers Labor-Management Trust, the San Francisco Roofers Labor-Management Trust, Roofers and Waterproofers Local 40, and Roofers and Waterproofers Local 81.

Cal/OSHA's Consultation Unit, in conjunction with LOHP, plans to develop outreach and educational materials for roofing businesses and employees in order to ensure compliance and understanding of industry-specific workplace safety laws.

Those with complaints concerning workplace safety hazards or labor law violations in the roofing industry are encouraged to contact the LETF hotline at (855) 297-5322 to report documented complaints and access enforcement tips.

More information on the task force as well as employer and worker rights and responsibilities is available online as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

Employees with work-related questions may call the California Workers' Information Hotline at (866) 924-9757 for recorded information in Spanish and English on a variety of work-related topics.

For media inquiries, contact Erika Monterroza at (510) 286-1164 or Peter Melton at (510) 286-7046.

SOURCE Dept. of Industrial Relations