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OSHA Blames roofing contractor for worker’s death from fall

Jacksonville, Fla.- A Jacksonville-based roofing contractor has been cited by the Occupational Safety and health administrator after a worker fell from a warehouse on Powers Avenue and later died. Roofer 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 a reporter from the U.S. Department of Labor. He was admitted to an area hospital in critical condition and later died of his injuries.

OSHA inspectors responded to the scene to investigate and found Pinnacle Roofing Contractors Inc., Miles’ employer, had failed to install protective cages over the skylights. The inspectors cited the Jacksonville-based company for two willful and two serious violations. OSHA has proposed that the company be placed in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

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

OSHA issued two willful citations to the company for allowing employees to work at heights greater than 6 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 rood was marked and for not installing skylight protection systems capable of supporting a worker’s fall. Proposed penalties total $154,000.

In a previous OSHA inspection, Pinnacle was also cited for fall safety hazards. The company had 15 business days from receipt of its citation and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s area director, or content the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

In 2013, falls killed 294 of the 796 construction workers who died on the job in the U.S. OSHA has created a National Fall Prevention Stand-Down campaign to prevent falls in construction. falls are a leading cause of death for construction workers. OSHA has also created Regional Emphasis Program on falls in Construction.

Visit the fall prevention webpage, which has detailed information in both English and Spanish on fall protection standards. The page offers fact sheets, posters and videos hat vividly illustrate various fall hazards and appropriate preventative measures.

Bureau Labor of Statistics preliminary data from the census of Fatal Occupational Injuries shows that fatal work injuries in Florida accounted for 239 of 4,405 fatal work injuries reported nationally in 2013. Additional information and details are available at http://www.bls.gov

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA or the agency’s Jacksonville Area Office at 904-232-2895.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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