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OSHA: No Fall Protection in Fatality

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

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A father of three who "worked long hours" for the same roofer since the age of 19 wore no protective gear when he fell 27 feet to his death on a school project, federal authorities have concluded.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Jason Dye's employer, Mid-State Construction & Roofing Inc., of Beecher City, IL, for one willful and four serious safety violations related to his death. Proposed fines total $42,600.

Willful violations are OSHA's highest level of infraction, reserved for those "committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health."

Family via Mid-State Construction and Roofing Inc.

Jason Dye, 33, fell 27 feet when his drill broke and slipped as he worked unprotected on a roof edge. A memorial fund was established for his family.

Serious violations reflect life-threatening hazards.

Broken Bit

Dye, 33, perished on a high school construction project Aug. 4 in Piasa, IL.

According to OSHA, he had been installing wood blocking to create a finished roof edge on the perimeter of the high school gym. While using a battery-powered, hand-held impact driver, the bit broke, causing Dye to lose his balance and fall over the edge.

Mid-State, his employer of more than 14 years, failed to provide fall protection and ensure that Dye was using it, OSHA said.

Four other employees working on the roof at the time also lacked fall protection, leading to the willful violation. OSHA said the set-up required a warning-line system for the five.

The serious violations allege failure to:

  • Provide adequate fall protection;
  • Train workers in its use; and
  • Conduct regular inspections of the work site and equipment.


"This tragedy illustrates how quickly a worker can lose his life when fall protection is not provided, and why OSHA requires it each time an employee works at heights greater than six feet," said Aaron Priddy, OSHA's area director in Fairview Heights, IL.


Mid-State Construction and Roofing Inc. of Beecher City, IL, is a full-service roofing contractor serving the industrial, institutional and government markets.

"Falls remain the leading cause of deaths in the construction industry. Hundreds of workers, including this one, won't return home as a result of falls like this."

OSHA records show no other violations for Mid-State Construction in the past 10 years.

'A Role Model'

Mid-State Construction did not respond Monday (Jan. 12) to a request for comment, but the company promotes the Jason Dye Memorial Fund on its website homepage.

Without referencing the accident, Mid-State calls Dye a "loving husband of 12 years and father of three."

"Jason was and will continue to be a role model for many, as he had mastered the battle of the Work-Life balance," the company says. "He worked long hard hours to provide for his family, but he also expressed his love for his family every moment he could."


Tagged categories: Commercial contractors; Fall protection; Fatalities; Good Technical Practice; North America; OSHA; Roofing contractors

Comment from Gregory Stoner, (1/16/2015, 9:01 AM)

Very nice of this company to support the Memorial...Couldn't support reasonable fall protection for a known hazard though. This is not new news...People have been falling and sometimes dying since the dawn of man...Fall protection is readily available and easy to use all you need is the will...How many more need to die before we learn that working safely is not an option? Truly a sad story

Comment from Chuck Pease, (1/19/2015, 10:12 AM)

6 feet from leading edge work harness up folks.

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