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Accident at Vikings Stadium Claims 1

Thursday, August 27, 2015

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One worker was killed and another was seriously injured while working on the roof of the new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings.

According to multiple news sources, the accident occurred Wednesday morning (Aug. 26) while the workers, both male, were on the roof of the new U.S. Bank Stadium.

The worker who died fell off the roof, while the other worker was injured on the roof, reports indicate. Additional details about the circumstances involving the incident were not immediately available Wednesday afternoon.

The victims' identities had not been released as of Wednesday’s deadline.

Following the incident, both workers were taken to Hennepin County Medical Center. The surviving worker was still there Wednesday and listed in serious condition, according to the Star Tribune.

The men reportedly worked for Berwald Roofing of St. Paul, MN. Mortensen Construction, which is based in Minneapolis, is in charge of the stadium project.

Previous Citations

Star Tribune also reported on its website that the fall victim fell some 50 feet.

It was not clear if that worker was wearing a harness, which would have been required by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

By Tony Webster / CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

One roofer died and another was seriously injured while working on the new Vikings football stadium. The men worked for Berwald Roofing, which has received several fall safety violations since 2010.

Berwald has been the subject of OSHA safety inspections in the recent past. According to the Star Tribune, the roofing and sheet metal company has been cited nine times in six inspections since 2010. For those violations, OSHA has fined Berwald more than $12,500.

The heaviest of those, the newspaper said, was in September 2013 when an employee was working higher than 6 feet off the ground and was without either a harness or guardrail. That violation cost the roofing company $2,200.

Because of technical issues with OSHA’s website, other information about inspections at the company could not be confirmed Wednesday (Aug. 26).

A phone operator at the roofing company said Berwald was not making a statement at this time.

Fall Reactions

Following the fall, work on the stadium was halted.

“We’re all a little traumatized today,” apprentice electrician Coshay Murray told the Star-Tribune.

Viking management shared those sentiments.

“Today is an extremely sad day for the Minnesota Vikings organization and the entire team,” the team posted to its website.

“Our sincere thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the individual who passed away, the worker who remains hospitalized, and the more than 1,000 dedicated construction workers who are on the site every day and are also affected by this accident.”

The Project

Construction on the new stadium began in 2014 after the Metrodome—the former home of the NFL team—was razed.

The roof was to be completed by winter, while the stadium was to open for the 2016 football season.

According to OSHA’s Fall Prevention Campaign, 291 workers died from falls in 2013. The agency said falls are the leading cause of death in construction and offers support and training to employers with the hope of reducing that number.


Tagged categories: Fall protection; Good Technical Practice; North America; OSHA; OSHA; Roofing contractors; Stadiums/Sports Facilities

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