OSHA files lawsuit against Waukegan roofing company for failing to pay $360K in fines for worker hazards


File Photo | Photo: U.S. Army/Kerry Solan

OSHA is suing a Waukegan-based roofing company, which has been cited nine times in recent years, alleging the company has failed to pay over $360,000 in penalties for exposing employees to falls.

The U.S. Department of Labor filed the lawsuit to force ECS Roofing Professionals Inc. to pay $360,531 in penalties.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said the fines were for “repeatedly exposing employees to falls from elevations,” the leading cause of fatal injuries in the construction industry.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and follows an Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission ruling in March that affirmed the citations issued by OSHA.

The safety agency’s investigation found that Grayslake resident Joshua Herion, who is the operator of ECS Roofing Professionals, exposed employees to deadly fall hazards at two separate job sites in Illinois and Wisconsin in October 2022.

OSHA determined the company did not provide employees with required fall arrest systems, a safety net or guardrails as they installed siding and roofing materials atop roofs in Hoffman Estates and Waukesha, Wisconsin.

The agency issued citations and fined ECS Roofing $226,530 for the Illinois violations and $134,001 for the Wisconsin violations.

The company contested the citations and penalties with the review commission.

Federal officials say Herion has failed to pay the penalties despite the commission rejecting his appeal.

“The Department of Labor has taken this action to force Joshua Herion and his company, ECS Roofing Professionals Inc., to comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission order to pay more than $360,000 in penalties,” Regional Solicitor of Labor Christine Heri said.

“The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires employers to comply with federal safety and health regulations to meet their legal obligation to protect workers on the job,” Heri said.

Federal officials said Herion’s history of OSHA violations dates back to 2014. He and his companies have been cited nine times for violations related to fall protection.

“Each year, too many construction workers fall victim to the leading cause of workplace fatalities in the industry because employers fail to provide fall protection,” OSHA Region Administrator Bill Donovan said.

“OSHA is committed to holding employers like Herion and ECS Roofing Professionals accountable when they ignore their legal responsibility to protect employees from potentially deadly and disabling injuries,” Donovan said.

Court records show an initial court hearing in the lawsuit is scheduled for December 19.