NEVILLE ISLAND, Pa. — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing more than $353,000 in penalties for two roofing contractors related to the death of a 19-year-old worker who fell to his death.

According to a release from the Department of Labor, OSHA investigated the June death of a 19-year-old roofing worker who fell 30 feet through an unprotected skylight in Neville Island, Pa. OSHA found two commercial contractors willfully failed to use fall protection systems that might have saved his life.

The agency determined Top Choice Roofing Service in Hadley, Pa., and Mast’s Top Choice Roofing Service in Jefferson, Ohio — who jointly employed the worker ignored federal requirements to use fall protection systems around skylights and on a low-sloped roof. The companies also allowed the use of an aerial lift without fall protection.

OSHA issued two willful and one serious citation to each company. Both companies now qualify for inclusion in OSHA’s Severe Violator Program because the willful citation is related directly to a fatality. Each roofing contractor was issued $167,934 in penalties, resulting in a combined total of $353,868 in proposed penalties.

“Mast’s Top Choice Roofing and Top Choice Roofing’s failures to install required and well-known fall protection cost a young man his life,” said OSHA Area Director Christopher Robinson in Pittsburgh. “Falls are the leading causes of death and serious injury in the construction industry, and yet both companies chose not to take actions that could have prevented this tragedy.”

The companies have 15 business days from receipt of their citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

View the citations here and here.