A judge has sentenced the owner of a roofing company in connection with an incident that seriously injured three of his employees. The owner pled guilty to making false statements to OSHA.
On March 18, 2013, five men employed by Marcus Borden in Cordova, AL, were working on a roof when a severe thunderstorm occurred. Three of the men were seriously injured:
- One was thrown against the edge of a new metal roof; his arm was amputated
- A second worker was thrown across the roof and suffered a shoulder injury, and
- A third worker became wrapped in sheet metal, escaped, but was blown over the roof’s edge, falling 30 feet to the ground. He suffered broken wrists, ribs, tail bone and pelvis.
OSHA said the workers:
- didn’t have fall protection equipment
- weren’t tied off, and
- didn’t have a means to exit the roof quickly.
Borden told an OSHA inspector he’d obtained fall arrest equipment for the workers five days before they were injured. It turns out he bought the equipment on the day of the storm, after the incident occurred.
The U.S. Department of Justice charged Brooks with making false statements and lying to federal OSHA inspectors regarding an incident investigation.
Borden pled guilty to one count of making false statements. He was sentenced to three years of supervised probation and must complete 30 hours of community service.
OSHA issued six violations to Borden (one willful, four serious and one other-than-serious), including failure to:
- provide workers with fall protection while working within 6 feet of an open edge that was 30 feet above the ground
- prevent workers from being exposed to severe weather conditions and struck-by hazards
- secure metal decking during severe weather, and
- notify OSHA about workers admitted to the hospital due to a work-related incident.
The initial fines were $69,200.
Borden initially contested the violations but later settled, agreeing to all the citations and a penalty of $55,000, a 20% reduction.