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Ehstoday 2112 Rooferskylight

Worker Falls to His Death after Company Ignores Fall Prevention

May 26, 2015
A roofer in Jacksonville fell through an insufficiently protected skylight in what OSHA has called a "preventable" fatality.

A roofer in Jacksonville, Fla. died from injuries he sustained on Nov. 20, 2014, after crashing through a skylight without an adequate safety cage and falling 24 feet.

The roofer, John W. Miles III, initially was admitted to a local hospital in critical condition, but later died in what OSHA has labeled a “preventable” fatality. Miles III was working on a warehouse in Jacksonville for Pinnacle Roofing Contractors Inc., a company previously cited by OSHA for fall safety hazards.

"While some skylights on the warehouse roof had safeguards installed, workers were not protected from fall hazards sufficiently. If Pinnacle Roofing had been more diligent, John Miles would be with us today," said Brian Sturtecky, OSHA's area director in Jacksonville.

OSHA found Pinnacle had not installed protective cages over the skylights and cited the Jacksonville-based company with two willful and two serious violations. The administration also named Pinnacle a Severe Violator and proposed $154,000 in fines.

The two willful citations were for allowing employees to work at heights greater than 6 feet without guardrails or fall protection and for not installing protective systems on the skylights. The two serious citations were for not ensuring the edge of the roof was marked and for not installing skylight protection systems capable of supporting a worker's fall.

Falls are a leading cause of death for construction workers. In 2013, 294 of the 796 construction workers who died on the job were killed from falls.

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