OSHA fines Missouri roofing contractor after fatal fall

ConDig (13-Sept-23).  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined a Missouri roofing contractor $205,369 after an employee fell to his death.

OSHA cited Troyer Roofing & Coatings for one willful violation, three serious violations and one other-than serious violation. The agency cited the company for similar fall protection violations in 2015.

It follows the death of an 18-year-old employee who was applying sealant to a commercial building’s roof when he fell more than 22 feet.

After the tragic fall, Troyer allowed a foreman and another worker to continue working without fall protection until they finished their shift, according to OSHA. 

In addition, OSHA inspectors learned that the Jamesport-based employer had fall protection available but allowed employees to decide if they wanted to use it.

“Troyer Roofing & Coatings could have prevented this young worker’s death by requiring their employees to use fall protection equipment. Disturbingly, the employer allowed other workers to go back to work on the same roof without fall protection,” said OSHA area director Karena Lorek in Kansas City, Missouri. 

“Employers have an obligation to comply with requirements that are designed to prevent tragedies such as this from occurring.”

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its 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.

Falls are the leading cause of death in construction work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 986 construction workers died on the job in 2021, with 378 of those fatalities related to falls from elevation.