Alabama Contractor Cited After Teen Worker Dies

A 15-year-old worker suffered fatal injuries after a fall at a work site in Alabama. The company is facing $159,118 in penalty fines from OSHA.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA cited Apex Roofing and Restoration LLC, and WW Restoration LLC for exposing employees to fall hazards. This came after a 15-year-old worker suffered fatal injuries after a fall at a site in Cullman, Alabama. The company is facing penalties that total $159,118.

Roofing workers are particularly susceptible to falls, and OSHA cited this company for exposing its employees to fall hazards while performing roofing activities without the appropriate fall protection or training. Apex Roofing and Restoration LLC is a separate entity from WW Restoration, but OSHA cited the companies as a single employer because both “share supervision on a common worksite, and have interrelated operations and integrated working relationships” according to OSHA’s news release on the subject.

Proper training and protection are crucial to ensuring worker safety. OSHA even has a Protecting Roofing Workers booklet that explains fall protection strategies for employers in the industry. The agency’s Fall Protection webpage gives other compliance assistance resources.

“Employers have a legal duty to ensure that their employees are protected at all times,” said OSHA Area Director Ramona Morris in Birmingham, Alabama. “This responsibility includes providing appropriate training and conducting assessments to make sure workers understand hazards, and supplying fall protection to minimize the risk of serious or fatal injuries.”

However, this case has another wrinkle: this worker was a minor. The Wage and Hour Division is investigating the employers for child labor provision violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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