Non-residential building Fall prevention Construction

Roofing contractor pleads guilty to lying to OSHA

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US Dept. of Justice

Philadelphia – In a rare criminal conviction for a safety violation, a roofing company owner has pleaded guilty to lying to OSHA and willfully violating an OSHA rule in connection with the death of an employee.

James J. McCullagh was indicted in June on four counts of making false statements, one count of obstruction of justice and one count of violating the Scaffolds Standard. He pleaded guilty to the charges Dec. 9.

A criminal investigation was launched shortly after one of McCullagh’s employees fell 45 feet to his death while repairing the roof of a Philadelphia church. Prosecutors accused McCullagh, owner of James J. McCullagh Roofing, of failing to provide fall protection to workers, lying to OSHA investigators, and directing other workers to lie about being provided safety gear.

McCullagh could receive up to 25 years in prison, according to a Department of Justice press release. He is scheduled to be sentenced March 29.