Company Convicted of OSHA Violation That Caused Worker's Death at KC Jobsite
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Pacific, Mo., company has been found guilty of violating an OSHA regulation and causing the death of a Raymore, Mo., ironworker.
DNRB, Inc., doing business as Fastrack Erectors, located in Pacific, was found guilty following a bench trial that concluded on Aug. 17, 2016, before U.S. Chief District Judge Greg Kays, whose order setting out the findings of fact and conclusions of law was issued on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017.
“The court found that Fastrack was aware of safety violations but willfully ignored them, with tragic results,” Dickinson said. “Federal law requires employers to protect their workers from workplace hazards in order to prevent needless injuries and deaths. Employers will be held accountable when they fail in that responsibility.”
In July 2014, Fastrack was a subcontractor in the construction of a 300,000-square-foot distribution warehouse located in Kansas City, Mo. Fastrack is an American Institute of Steel Construction-certified steel erection company that specializes in structural steel, miscellaneous steel, pre-engineered metal buildings, ornamental metal handrail, and precast installation. Fastrack supplied on-site supervisors (who are based in the St. Louis, Mo., area) while the ironworkers were hired from the union local in Kansas City, Mo.
On July 24, 2014, two Fastrack ironworker employees were receiving a bundle of roof decking sheet metal and setting it on top of the building’s bar joists. The employees’ task required them to guide the decking bundle to land it. Each decking bundle was 26 feet long by 36 inches wide. The employees accessed the top of the building from a scissor lift and walked approximately 15 feet along a joist without wearing any fall protection. They walked on trusses that were nine inches wide, or bar joists which were five inches wide. Other ironworkers secured the decking to the trusses with screws and welds. These workers did not use fall protection.
Eric Roach, 22, one of the employees landing the decking, fell approximately 30 feet to the ground and was transported to a local hospital where he died the following day.
Fastrack was a subcontractor to ARCO National Construction-KC, Inc. According to court documents, the contract between ARCO and Fastrack required that Fastrack “personnel who are working or present at heights in excess of 6 feet shall be provided, by (Fastrack) adequate fall protection.” Fastrack failed to enforce the use of fall protection.
No fall protection equipment was provided by the company. Both working foremen on the site were told, or questioned, about the lack of fall protection equipment and were in a position to personally observe employees failing to use fall protection equipment. At least one of the foremen was working on the decking in the immediate area of the employees; he failed to wear fall protection himself and failed to enforce the use of fall protection by the employees.
Federal statutes require that each employee engaged in a steel erection activity who is on a walking/working surface with an unprotected side or edge more than 15 feet above a lower level shall be protected from fall hazards by guardrail systems, safety net systems, personal fall arrest systems, positioning device systems or fall restraint systems.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul S. Becker and Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys Evert Van Wijk and Rachel Parsons, both of the Department of Labor – Office of Solicitor. It was investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.