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Press Release

Middlesex County Construction Company Admits Causing Death of Employee Who Fell Off Roof During Residential Roof Project

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A construction company based in Old Bridge, New Jersey, admitted violating Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, leading to the death of an employee, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.

Zona Roofing LLC (Zona Roofing), via its owner Yilbert Segura, pleaded guilty on Nov. 20, 2023, before U.S. Magistrate Judge José R. Almonte in Newark federal court to an information charging it with one count of willfully violating OSHA standards by failing to provide fall protection and fall protection training to employees engaged in the replacement of a residential roof, which caused the death of an employee. 

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

On Aug. 6, 2019, Segura and four employees began a roof replacement project on a residential home located in Haledon, New Jersey. Despite working more than 20 feet from the ground, employees for Zona Roofing were not equipped with any personal fall protection equipment, such as safety harnesses, lanyards, tie-off ropes, guard rails, safety nets, or other feasible means of fall protection. None of the employees had received fall protection training to recognize the hazards of falling or the procedures to be followed to minimize those hazards.

On Aug. 8, 2019, while working on the roof, one of Zona Roofing’s employees lost his balance and fell approximately 22 feet to the ground, sustaining blunt force injuries to his head that resulted in his death. The employee was not equipped with any fall protection gear, and he had not received any fall protection training. Zona Roofing was previously cited by Maryland OSHA in February 2019 for failing to provide fall protection to its employees.

If the court accepts the terms of the plea agreement, Zona Roofing will be sentenced to five years of probation and will pay restitution of $75,000 to the employee’s family members. Zona Roofing must also follow specified conditions, including providing training procedures to all its employees and a requirement to follow enhanced safety provisions for future construction jobs. Sentencing is scheduled for March 25, 2024.

U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger credited special agents of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Inspector General, Northeast Region, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Mellone; Daniel Hennefeld, Counsel for Occupational Safety and Health, Office of the Solicitor of Labor, Region 2, and OSHA Compliance Officers with the investigation leading to the guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Garrett Schuman of the Criminal Division in Newark.


Updated November 21, 2023

Labor & Employment
Press Release Number: 23-343