Huntington Roofer Fined $500K in Worker Death in Glen Cove
By Thomas Nothel
An OSHA investigation into the death of an employee found that Elite Roofing Services Inc could have prevented the worker’s fall to his death at a Glen Cove worksite last April.
The dead worker, Noe Diaz-Gamez, 26, of Huntington Station, died after falling 30 feet onto a concrete floor, while repairing the roof of a warehouse at 40 Garvies Point Road in Glen Cove.
The roofing contractor could have prevented falls, according to OSHA, if the company provided legally mandated equipment and training for employees.
The OSHA investigation determined the dead worker, and other employees of Elite, were installing metal decking on a flat industrial roof at Garvies Point Road when the worker fell through an opening onto a concrete floor nearly 30 feet below.
The agency issued six willful violation findings for the hazards – one violation for each exposed worker – and one serious violation for not training the workers. OSHA has assessed $522,527 in fines for the safety violations.
OSHA’s investigators said they learned the company did not provide the employees on the roof with basic protections such as guardrails, safety nets, personal fall arrest systems, positioning devices or fall restraint systems. The work being completed fell under OSHA’s steel erection standard, and Elite failed to train employees on recognizing and mitigating fall hazards before conducting their steel erection work.
“Despite knowing the risks from falls and the responsibility to safeguard its employees against them, Elite…chose to disregard the law and the safety of its workers,” said OSHA Area Director Kevin Sullivan in Westbury. “Supplying and requiring the use of fall protection equipment and training workers properly on its use can help prevent devastating consequences such as this from recurring.”
Elite has 15 business days from receipt of its 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.