Fatal Fall Leads to Nine Willful Violations for Long Island Contractor

Fatal Fall Leads to Nine Willful Violations for Long Island Contractor

OSHA has cited a Long Island contractor with nine willful violations after an employee died following a fall onsite.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has investigated and found that a Long Island roofing contractor failed to provide necessary safeguards to protect employees against falls—resulting in a fatality. 

According to a press release, on August 19, 2021, DME Construction Associates was working at a Town of Oyster Bay municipal building when an employee fell 18 feet through an unprotected skylight. OSHA found that in addition to the unprotected skylight, the employer also exposed workers to falls of up to 22 feet from other unguarded roof openings and roof edges. The employer was also found to have failed to provide employees with an fall protection equipment.

This is not the first time DME has been in hot water with OSHA. The agency has cited DME seven times since 2011 for fall-related hazards, including not providing protection from falls through skylights and roof edges. The contractor currently has $50,000 in unpaid fines.

“DME Construction Associates Inc. has continually ignored its legal responsibility to provide a safe workplace and that failure cost a worker their life,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Richard Mendelson in New York. “Ensuring worker safety is not an option. The U.S. Department of Labor will hold employers accountable when they knowingly disregard the law requiring the use of personal protective equipment.”

Based on the company's violation history and intentional disregard of fall protection standards, which resulted in a worker fatality, OSHA issued nine willful violations to the company, including eight egregious per-instance citations for DME's failure to provide fall protection for each of the eight employees who worked on the roof. The agency also cited the company for four serious violations for other fall hazards, and for violations related to the crane in use on-site. Proposed penalties total $1,201,031.

View OSHA's citations to DME here.

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