NEVILLE ISLAND, PA – A workplace safety investigation into the June death in Neville Island of a 19-year-old roofing worker who fell 30 feet through an unprotected skylight found two commercial contractors willfully failed to use fall protection systems that might have saved his life.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined Top Choice Roofing Service in Hadley, and Mast’s Top Choice Roofing Service, Jefferson, Ohio – who jointly employed the worker – ignored federal requirements to use fall protection systems around skylights and on a low-sloped roof. The companies also allowed the use of an aerial lift without fall protection.

OSHA issued two willful and one serious citation to each company. Both companies now qualify for inclusion in OSHA’s Severe Violator Program because the willful citation is related directly to a fatality. Top Choice and Mast’s Top Choice face a total of $353,868 in proposed penalties.

“Mast’s Top Choice Roofing and Top Choice Roofing’s failures to install required and well-known fall protection cost a young man his life,” said OSHA Area Director Christopher Robinson in Pittsburgh. “Falls are the leading causes of death and serious injury in the construction industry, and yet both companies chose not to take actions that could have prevented this tragedy.”

OSHA developed a Regional Emphasis Program to increase inspection activity and raise safety awareness in the construction industry of the significant risks related to fall hazards.

The companies have 15 business days from receipt of their citations and 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.

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 workers by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. Learn more about OSHA.

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