Contractor fined after February roofing fatality in Friendship

Sun, 11/19/2023 - 8:00pm

    FRIENDSHIP — The contractor who employed a roofer who was fatally electrocuted before falling from a roof in Friendship in February 2023 has incurred $19,504 in violations by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA’s investigation began immediately after the February 7, 2023, incident, and citations were issued in May, June, and August 2023. Because the case remains open, more citations could still be added.

    OSHA determined that employees for the non-unionized Pacific Construction Services, Inc., of Framingham, Massachusetts, were installing a metal roof at 15 Main St., in Friendship, at 1:59 p.m., when a worker moved with a piece of metal roofing and hit a 12,470 voltage powerline. The man was electrocuted before falling to the ground.

    Results of the investigation have led to seven citations. The first four, issued in May, resulted in fines of $4,688 each, with a fifth citation void of financial penalty. The last two issuances were added in August with fines of $376 each.

    OSHA issued the fines based on the following labor law breaches:

    Employees were permitted to work in proximity to an electric power circuit that they could contact in the course of work. The employees were not protected against electric shock by de-energizing the circuit and grounding it or by guarding it effectively by insulation or other means.

    When and where energized circuits existed, Pacific Construction failed to post and maintain proper warning signs and to advise employees of the location, hazards involved, and the proper protective measures to be taken.

    Each employee, engaged in residential construction activities 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above lower levels, was not protected by guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems, nor were employees provided with an alternative fall protection measure.

    Pacific Construction did not ensure that each employee exposed to fall hazards was trained, and a written certification record for fall hazard training was not developed for all employees exposed to fall hazards.

    In August, OSHA issued the sixth and seventh monetary citations when the employer failed to certify to OSHA that each cited violation had been abated.


    Reach Sarah Thompson at