Video shows 14-year-old boy’s terrifying fall off roof while doing construction; contractor cited

by: Brittany Rall, Matt Wright, WJW, Nexstar Media Wire

Posted: Mar 1, 2021 / 8:45 AM EST
Updated: March 1, 2021 / 8:45 AM EST

BEREA, Ohio (WJW) – Police released a video of a 14-year-old boy falling off the roof while building an Ohio townhouse.

The Berea Police Department said the boy was seriously injured in the December accident. Now the company he worked for is having problems with OSHA.

“Immediately after this serious incident, the company owner and three other employees put on personal fall protection devices to complete the roofing work to hide the fact that fall protection was not in use at the time of the injury. The equipment was in the employer’s job trailer when the boy fell, ”said the Ministry of Labor.

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The inspectors said they discovered the truth when they looked through the video from a neighbor’s surveillance camera.

“A rooftop man has just fallen off a roof,” a caller told 911 operators at the time of the incident. “He is unconscious. He doesn’t react in the driveway. “

OSHA has proposed fines of $ 73,533 for Double M Roofing and Construction and has published citations for two willful, three serious, and one other as serious violations of OSHA’s safety standards.

Inspectors said after the accident that employees were again caught installing roofing materials on another construction site without the required fall protection.

“All too often, OSHA inspectors, responding to reports from roofers without fall protection, discover that the employer has the safety equipment on site and is refusing to ensure that it is used,” said Howard Eberts, OSHA area director in Cleveland. “Due to the risk of falling, roof work is one of the most dangerous jobs in the construction industry. OSHA requires fall protection when working at heights greater than 6 feet. “

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The company has 15 working days after receiving its quotes and penalties to meet requirements, request an informal conference with the OSHA area manager, or challenge the results to the Independent Occupational Health and Safety Commission.

Owner Melvin Schmucker declined to comment when contacted by WJW.

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