A 40-year-old Rockland roofing business owner was accused of breaking federal safety laws on Tuesday. The owner of ALJ Home Improvement, Jose Lema, is reported to have a history of safety violations and two employee fatalities.
One of the unfortunate incidents happened on the job site in New Square. Lema was detained on Tuesday morning, according to LOHUD, on suspicion of breaking OSHA’s regulations for residential building fall prevention.
The maximum penalty for the crime is a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, with a possible sentence of six months in jail.
Lema allegedly received numerous OSHA citations for breaking worker safety laws. Lema allegedly put his employees’ lives in jeopardy by disobeying laws and failing to make sure they were using fall protection equipment, according to the U.S. Damon Williams, an attorney, said
A roof worker’s death on a construction site was caused by this conduct.” According to Williams, the “charge should serve as a reminder to small businesses that failure to comply with safety regulations can lead to unnecessary and preventable tragedy.”
In the Ramapo village of New Square, in February 2022, a worker sadly died after falling over the roof of a building that was under construction. According to the lawsuit, an ALJ employee fell 35 feet to the ground on February 27, 2019, after slipping off the top of a newly built three-story home near Kiamesha Lake.
His wounds caused his death. OSHA cited ALJ multiple times after determining that the man was not using a safety harness. The ALJ made a deal and consented to pay a fine.
Between 2019 and 2022, there were five more incidences at five different workplaces where ALJ employees were at risk of falling, according to the complaint.