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An Akron, Ohio, roofing contractor was sentenced to three years after he pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter following the death of a 39-year-old employee who fell from a three-story roof while working without required fall protection in November 2017, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced Friday.
Jim Coon, owner of Jim Coon Construction, whose charges were brought before the Summit County Court in Ohio earlier this month, was investigated by OSHA following the fatality, according to OSHA, which discovered that he had failed to install fall protection systems, ignored other safety hazards, and failing to provide workers compensation coverage as required.
In addition to his incarceration, the court ordered Mr. Coon to pay $303,152 in restitution to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation after he pleaded guilty to comp fraud, according to the statement issued by OSHA.
“Falls continue to be the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry, which makes the use of proper protection essential,” Loren Sweatt, Washington, D.C.-based principal deputy assistant secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, said in the statement. “Jim Coon willfully disregarded OSHA fall protection regulations that could have prevented this tragedy. This case should serve as a reminder to all employers to comply with their legal obligation to provide required safety equipment, and protect employees on job sites.”
Federal workplace safety regulators have cited a Florida roofing contractor for exposing employees to fall hazards and proposed $149,662 in fines.