BEND, Ore. — A roofing contractor is dead after experiencing a fatal fall on Tuesday morning at the construction site of a new high school being built Bend, Ore.
NBC/CW+-affiliated KTVZ reports that police and fire medics responded just before 7 a.m. to the worksite located at Caldera High School. They pronounced the victim dead on the scene.
Police identified the man as James A. Bickers, 37, of Bend, an employee of River Roofing in Redmond, Ore. In statement posted on Facebook, the roofing company described Bickers as “an important part of our team” that was helping build the high school.
“All of us at River Roofing-Bend are shocked and grief-stricken at his loss, and naturally our thoughts and prayers are with Jimmy’s family and friends,” the company wrote. “He was hard-working, intelligent, and had a good sense of humor.”
The incident is currently under investigation by the police, the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Deschutes County medical examiner’s and district attorney’s office.
According to KTVZ, District Attorney John Hummel said there is no evidence of criminal negligence as of Tuesday, but is awaiting the results of the OSHA investigation. Oregon OSHA has 180 days to complete a workplace fatality report.
Falls continue to be the leading cause of workplace fatalities in the construction industry. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that roofing contractors had a work fatality rate more than 10 times the average rate (51.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers) in 2018.