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Jail Time, Fine for Roofing Company Owner in Safety Prosecution

In the second prosecutorial action in as many days, the Sonoma County District Attorney has obtained a no-contest plea from a Santa Rosa roofing company in connection with two incidents in 2006 that left one worker dead and another with major head trauma. The company owner received jail time and almost $250,000 in fines and restitution. A supervisor also was sentenced to jail and the firm's former owner will be arraigned in May. 

The prosecution of ANC Roofing comes after Cal/OSHA's Bureau of Investigations referred the case to the county prosecutor. The Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH)  has cited the company in the two cases, one for alleged willful violations of a Title 8 safety order. 

On May 11, 2006, a 32-year-old roofer was killed at a commercial site in Rohnert Park when he fell through a skylight while laying felt on a flat roof. Then, on Sept. 21, 2006, another ANC employee received serious injuries while working on a roof in Windsor. He was part of a crew installing thermoplastic roofing material when he reached out to grab a piece of plastic that the wind had caught, lost his balance and fell through a skylight. 

DOSH cited ANC for an alleged serious violation in the first incident, with a proposed penalty of $14,400. The second incident resulted in an alleged serious/willful violation and proposed "jumbo" penalties of $70,500. 

Kenneth Hugh Alton of Santa Rosa, ANC's owner, pleaded no contest to charges of failing to protect employees from a hazard and was sentenced to nine months in jail, plus $248,000 in fines and restitution. Company supervisory Robert Lawrence McAfee, also of Santa Rosa, also pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 30 days in jail. Former owner Dale Charles has been charged with a misdemeanor and will be arraigned May 18. 

General Industry Safety Orders §3212(e) requires that employees approaching within six feet of any skylight be protected from falling through the opening. 

The announcement of the successful prosecution comes a day after the San Joaquin County D.A. announced felony charges against the principals of Merced Farm Labor Contractor in connection with the death of a 17-year-old pregnant farmworker in May 2008 due to heat illness.


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