MO Roofing Contractor Fined for Worker Death
A U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation reportedly found that a Missouri roofing and coatings contractor offered employees the option to use fall protection, leading the death of one employee.
Troyer Constructors LLP, which operates as Troyer Roofing and Coatings, is a third-generation, family owned and operated business. The company provides commercial roofing restorations and repairs to customers in north and central Missouri.
At the end of March this year, an 18-year-old employee was applying sealant to a commercial building’s roof when he fell more than 22 feet. He suffered serious injuries that left him in a coma for five days before dying, OSHA reports.
Following the incident, Troyer also allegedly allowed a foreman and another worker to continue working without fall protection until they finished their shift. Additionally, OSHA inspectors reportedly found that the employer had fall protection but allowed employees to decide if they wanted to use it.
OSHA previously cited Troyer Roofing & Coatings for similar violations in 2015.https://t.co/3GAUg2kqsA— Occupational Health & Safety (@OccHealthSafety) September 13, 2023
OSHA investigators determined that, in addition to not ensuring that employees used fall protection, the contractor failed to train them on how to use it. Investigators also reportedly found Troyer Roofing
OSHA cited Troyer Roofing and Coatings for one willful violation, three serious violations and one other-than serious violation, with proposed penalties of $205,369. The agency cited the company for similar fall protection violations in 2015.
“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.”
OSHA Fall Prevention
In December, OSHA revealed its annual top 10 most frequently cited workplace safety standards for fiscal year 2022. The list was presented exclusively with the National Safety Council during the 2022 NSC Safety Congress & Expo. Fall Protection – General Requirements remained at the top of the list for the 12th year in a row, followed by Hazard Communication and Respiratory Protection. OSHA’s fiscal year officially ended on Sept. 30.
The Top 10 most frequently cited standards for FY 2022 are:
At the beginning of May, OSHA announced that it has begun a National Emphasis Program to prevent falls in the construction industry. According to the administration, falls are the leading cause of fatal workplace injuries and the violation the agency cites most frequently in construction industry inspections.
The emphasis program will reportedly focus on reducing fall-related injuries and fatalities for people working at heights in all industries. The targeted enforcement program is based on historical Bureau of Labor Statistics data and OSHA enforcement history, including data showing that of the 5,190 fatal workplace injuries in 2021, 680 were associated with falls from elevations, or about 13% of all deaths.
OSHA reports that the program establishes guidance for locating and inspecting fall hazards and allows OSHA compliance safety and health officers to open inspections whenever they observe someone working at heights.
Additionally, an outreach component of the program will focus on educating employers about effective ways to keep their workers safe. If a compliance officer determines an inspection is not necessary after entering a worksite and observing work activities, they will provide outreach on fall protection and leave the site.
Editor's Note: This article has been updated at 9 a.m. on Sept. 18 to correct an error in the headline.