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Roofer fined in worker's death

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Federal safety and health regulators have proposed $102,900 in penalties against a Massachusetts roofing contractor for a fatal workplace safety incident.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Kevin Miranda's death was preventable if his employer, Taunton, Massachusetts-based Skyline Contracting and Roofing Corp., had followed industry and federal safety standards, according to an agency news release issued on Monday.

Mr. Miranda was operating an aerial lift, a vehicle-mounted device used to elevate personnel, when the lift tipped over and the operator's basket hit the ground, ejecting Mr. Miranda 16 feet, according to the release.

Agency inspectors found the lift was positioned on unlevel ground, a condition that conflicted with both industry safety standards and the lift's operator manual, and that Mr. Miranda's fall protection lanyard was not attached to the basket or boom, leading to two willful OSHA citations, according to the agency. The employer had not trained Mr. Miranda to recognize the hazard, a serious violation of OSHA standards, according to the citations.

“Kevin Miranda's employer was well aware of the necessary safety requirements yet disregarded them,” Kenneth Shedden, OSHA's area director for Boston and southeastern Massachusetts, said in a statement. “Safety standards exist for a good reason: to prevent incidents such as this and the deaths and injuries that can result. Employers must know and adhere to all applicable standards. The lives and well-being of their employees depend on it.”

A company spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.