OSHA investigators in Minnesota concluded that a 35-year-old man’s death was caused by inadequate fall protection. The man died while working on the Vikings’ stadium’s north roof face in August 2015 when he fell 50 feet. His employer, Berwald Roofing, was found to be using one guardrail system instead of two when the accident occurred. The company was fined $113,200 for three serious violations in the case.
Berwald Construction was a subcontractor of Mortenson Construction, and that company was also fined $34,300 for a non-serious violation. Serious violations are defined as a violation that could result in the death or serious harm of a worker or have resulted in the death or serious harm to an employee. Another worker was not hurt in a similar fall that took place in May 2015. In that incident, there was a second guardrail present.
If an employer creates an unsafe working environment for an employee, that employer may be liable for any employee injuries that occur. In lieu of a lawsuit, injured victims may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, which could include the provision of medical care as well as partial wage replacement. Injured workers are encouraged to tell their supervisor as soon as they get hurt while on the job. This may make it easier for an employee to get the care that he or she needs as soon as possible.
An attorney can often be of assistance in preparing and filing the required claim for benefits. An attorney could also advocate for the injured worker at a subsequent appeals hearing if the claim is initially denied.