An Alabama roofing contractor was supervising five-man crew in a roofing project when a severe thunderstorm struck. One man suffered a left arm amputation after being thrown against the edge of a metal roof. Another worker injured his shoulder after being thrown across the roof. And a third worker broke his wrist, ribs, tailbone, and pelvis, after going over the roof’s edge and falling 30 feet to the ground. The workers had no means to escape the roof quickly, were not tied-off at the time of the accident, and were not provided with fall protection equipment.
The contractor told an OSHA inspector that he had been on the job site at the time of the incident and that he had obtained fall protection equipment before the accident occurred—neither of which were true. He further stated the employees were tied off, when he knew, in fact, that they were not. OSHA cited the roofing contractor for six safety violations following the incident. After contesting the violations, the contractor agreed to all the violations and a penalty of $55,000.00.
The U.S. Department of Justice charged the contractor with making false statements and lying to OSHA’s inspectors during their investigation. He pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements, and was sentenced to three years supervised probation and thirty hours of community service.