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Roofing company cited by OSHA for fatal work accident

It is crucial for construction companies in Wisconsin and other states to be aware of required safety procedures that protect their workers from injuries and death. A work accident may result in substantial fines and penalties, should your company be found lacking in the execution of safety procedures. A fatal fall from a roof recently sparked an investigation by federal safety authorities.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported that the worker of the roofing company was changing a rubber membrane on the rooftop. The worker then lost his footing and fell about thirty feet onto the roof of a neighboring building. The worker was not wearing a safety harness at the time of the incident and was killed as a result.

The operator of the roofing company explains the incident by claiming that two of his workers -- including the deceased man -- went back onto the roof after business had closed for the day. He could not explain why they returned to the roof, but suspected that they were there using drugs or alcohol. Although all the necessary safety equipment was allegedly in place, one of the men fell to his death onto the roof of another building. He said that he was absolutely going to contest the findings of OSHA.

According to OSHA, the leading cause of injury and death in the construction industry is falls. They found it unacceptable that the construction company had failed to supply their employees with fall protection gear to prevent severe injuries. The construction company was cited by OSHA, who proposed penalties of $70,000 for the fatal fall of the worker. Under OSHA rules, construction companies in Wisconsin have 15 business days to comply or contest the findings after being cited for a work accident where an employee was either injured or killed. In a case such as this one, where a person was killed on the job, the family of the deceased may be able to collect workers' compensation benefits on behalf of their loved one, which would help handle final expenses and other financial burdens.

Source:, Nebraska Roofing Company Cited in Worker's Fatal Fall, No author, Nov. 6, 2013

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