Alabama contractor sentenced for lying to OSHA 2 years after incident with injuries

Posted by on Wed, Aug 26, 2015 @ 10:08 AM

A steel and roofing contractor in Russellville was recently sentenced to three years of supervised probation and 30 hours of community service after pleading guilty to one count of making false statements to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

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Marcus Borden was charged with lying to OSHA about an incident investigation of one of his work sites in Cordova more than two years ago. The incident, which took place March 13, 2013, occurred during a severe thunderstorm, seriously injuring three men who were working on a roofing project.

The labor department said Borden told an OSHA inspector he was at the job site and had personal fall arrest equipment to protect employees the day of the incident. Officials later discovered Borden had not retained the equipment until March 18, five days after the accident. OSHA said Borden also lied about his workers being tied off to the roof during the storm.

"Marcus Borden provided false information to OSHA during the investigation and needs to face the consequences for his actions," said Kurt Petermeyer, OSHA's regional administrator in Atlanta.

A total of five men were working when the storm occurred. One worker's leg was amputated after he was thrown against the edge of a new metal roof. Another worker's shoulder was injured when he was thrown across the roof.

A third man's wrists, ribs, tail bone and pelvis were broken when he became wrapped in a sheet of metal. He was able to escape, but was carried over the roof's edge and fell 30 feet to the ground.

None of the employees were tied off to the roof, had fall protection equipment or a way to exit the roof quickly when the weather became severe.

Borden was cited by OSHA for six safety violations a few months after the accident, including a willful citation for not providing workers with fall protection while working within six feet of an open edge that was 30 feet above the ground.

Four additional serious violations were cited for exposing employees to severe weather and not securing metal decking during inclement weather. An other-than-serious violation was given for Borden failing to notify OSHA about workers being admitted to a hospital after the incident.

After first contesting the OSHA citations, Borden settled the case and agreed to a penalty of $55,000. Borden was sentenced to making false statements Aug. 6.

"The injuries sustained by the three employees could have been avoided if Borden had fulfilled his responsibility to ensure a safe working environment and provide the necessary protection to his workers," Petemeyer said.

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