A national roofing contractor is facing a $63,900 fine after an aerial lift accident killed an employee last year. OSHA says an inspection of the aerial lift may have prevented the fatality.
Robert Heyman was a foreman for Tecta America Southeast, a roofing contractor based in Rosemont, IL. Heyman and another man were removing rain gutters at a Ford dealership in Orange City, FL, last September before disaster struck.
The aerial lift malfunctioned and surged forward, crushing Heyman to death between the roof edge and the lift. His co-worker jumped out of the lift’s basket and fell nearly 30 feet, breaking his left leg. Heyman, 35, was pronounced dead at the scene. OSHA says Heyman was a father of three.
OSHA’s investigation revealed neither of the workers wore and attached a fall protection lanyard to the aerial lift. The company also didn’t inspect aerial lift controls each day prior to use. Tecta was previously cited for not ensuring workers wore fall protection at a worksite in Kissimmee, FL.
Overall, Tecta America was hit with one repeat and four serious safety violations, including failure to:
- provide a workplace free from recognized hazards
- protect workers from unguarded machinery, and
- protect workers from electrical hazards due to improperly grounded wiring.
Brian Sturtecky, director of OSHA’s Jacksonville Area Office, said in a press release:
“Tecta America Southeast could have prevented this tragedy by simply inspecting the lift before allowing workers to use it. This company must immediately address safety hazards at its work sites and be vigilant in the future to protect its employees from harm.”
Tecta America is a nationwide commercial roofing company with more than 50 operations that employ more than 2,500 workers.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.