The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has penalized a Florida roofing contractor $154,000 for not providing adequate safety precautions at a site where one of its employees fell to his death through a skylight.

Last October, while working atop a warehouse in Jacksonville, Pinnacle Roofing Contractors worker John W. Miles III “crashed through a skylight without an adequate safety cage and plunged more than 24 feet to the ground below,” according to an OSHA report. He died of his injuries after being admitted to an area hospital.

OSHA responded to the scene to investigate and found Pinnacle “had failed to install protective cages over the skylights” and cited the Jacksonville-based company for two willful and two serious violations. The administration issued the penalties earlier this month.

“While some skylights on the warehouse roof had safeguards installed, workers were not protected from fall hazards sufficiently,” says Brian Sturtecky, OSHA’s area director in Jacksonville. “If Pinnacle Roofing had been more diligent, John Miles would be with us today.”

According to the report, OSHA issued two willful citations to the company for allowing employees to work at heights greater than six feet without guardrails or fall protection and for not installing protective systems on the skylights. Two serious citations were issued “for failing to ensure the edge of the roof was marked and for not installing skylight protection systems capable of supporting a worker’s fall.”

Pinnacle had been cited for fall safety hazards in a past investigation, and the administration has proposed that the company be placed in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

“The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission,” the reports read.

According to OSHA, 294 of the 796 construction workers who died on the job in 2013 were the result of falls. OSHA has created a National Fall Prevention Stand-Down campaign to prevent falls in construction, as well as a Regional Emphasis Program on Falls in Construction.

2 Comments

  1. It is such a shame that this employee suffered death when there are so many temporary edge protection options available to roofers! I hope this will help more companies recognize the need for following the OSHA’s safety requirements. Construction can be dangerous and it is so essential that safety regulations are followed. Thanks for the article.

  2. Safety starts with the individual. If you don’t think it’s safe then don’t do the work

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