OSHA fines Watertown company in fatal construction accident

Nine injured in construction site collapse (Courtesy: MGN Online)
Nine injured in construction site collapse (Courtesy: MGN Online)(KNOE)
Published: Aug. 2, 2016 at 10:20 AM CDT
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A Watertown construction company is facing fines after federal investigators determined it failed to properly train a worker who died in a construction accident.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined Pro-Tec Roofing Inc. $77,000 in penalties in connection to the April 21 accident. 24-year-old Justin Althoff, a roofing worker, fell more than 33 feet to his death while working on the roof of the Watertown Community Center.

The agency says Pro-Tec failed to to provide an adequate fall protection system and also did not train Althoff properly to work safely at heights. OSHA says inspectors also found other infractions, including failure to provide fire extinguishers, inadequate electrical safe work practices, and insufficient chemical hazards practices associated with the installation of synthetic roofing.

Pro-Tec received two willfull and eight serious safety violations last week. The United States Department of Labor defines a willfull violation, the more serious of the two, as "a violation in which the employer either knowingly failed to comply with a legal requirement or acted with plain indifference to employee safety."

The company has 15 business days to comply with OSHA's citations. Pro-Tec can also contest the findings or request a direct meeting with OSHA.