Ohio Roofing Contractor to 3 Years in Prison for Ignoring Safety Hazards

After one employee fell and died in 2017, Ohio county court sentenced Jim Coon to three years in prison after he pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. The court’s action follows an OSHA finding that Coon knowingly failed to install appropriate fall protection systems.

Ohio contractor Jim Coon was sentenced to prison last week after his 39-year-old employee had a fatal fall from a three-story building in November of 2017. Coon is sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter and reportedly failing to install fall protection systems.

An OSHA investigation found that Coon, owner of Coon Construction, ignored safety hazards for his employees, did not provide workers’ compensation coverage, and even committed workers’ compensation fraud. Now, after his employee fell and later lost his life, Coon is faced with both incarceration and a penalty of $303,152 in restitution to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

In the construction industry, falls continue to be the leading cause of fatalities, which makes fall protection absolutely essential, explains Loren Sweatt, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. “Jim Coon willfully disregarded OSHA fall protection regulations that could have prevented this tragedy. This case should serve as a reminder to all employers to comply with their legal obligation to provide required safety equipment, and protect employees on job sites.”

OSHA offers compliance assistance resources on how to prevent falls from ladders, scaffolds, and roofs on the Fall Protection webpage at https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection. Read more about the topic from OSHA’s news release

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  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - October 2020

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