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OSHA fines contractor after fatal fall goes unreported

August 21, 2006
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OSHA has fined a Newark, N.J., roofing contractor for failing to report the death of a worker who suffered a fatal fall at a construction site.

On March 27, construction crews from Jose Construction Corp. were working on the roof at a Flushing, N.Y. location when a worker fell 20 feet from a ladder. The man died of his injuries days later, according to OSHA.

A federal investigation began on April 26 after a third party notified OSHA about the death, the TimesLedger (Queens, N.Y.) reported.

Federal investigators are also fining the contractor for fall hazards.

Upon inspecting the site, investigators found the 20-foot extension ladder did not extend three feet above the roof's edge as required, according to OSHA. The ladder also lacked a grasping device, and employees were carrying bags of tools while climbing the ladder and were not properly trained in ladder use, OSHA said.

The construction company was issued a total of $6,000 in citations.

"Employers are required to notify OSHA of any occupational fatality within eight hours of the employee's death," said Richard Mendelson, OSHA's area director for Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn, N.Y. "This is to ensure a prompt inspection and identification of any hazardous conditions. Failing to inform OSHA of a worker's death will not preclude an inspection and can prompt additional penalties."

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