Under federal law, an employer is obligated to provide their workers with an environment free of known health and safety hazards. For those in dangerous professions — like construction workers – employers that don’t comply with regulations set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) put them at even greater risk of suffering a serious or even fatal accident on the job.
Such was the case with local building company Mega Construction of Robertsdale, AL, who were subcontracted through DR Horton to build out the roofing frames for homes making up a new subdivision off Hwy 181 in Baldwin County. In September of 2013, men were working on the roof when a strong gust of wind lifted a stack of unbraced, 4’ x 8’ plywood roofing panels off the joists. They fell over, domino style, and the worker standing on the end of the roof was knocked off, landed on his head and died. He wasn’t wearing any safety equipment.
OSHA had inspected both DR Horton and Mega Construction a dozen times over the last five years, including after the fatality at the Daphne subdivision. One two separate occasions the site was inspected as part of OSHA’s Regional Emphasis Program on Falls in Construction, and twice Mega received citations for failing to provide fall protection and proper safety equipment for their employees. (Click for PDF versions of OSHA citations from November 2015 and December 2015.)
After repeatedly violating federal safety laws, OSHA finally decided to bring Mega to court and retained local attorney George Irvine of Stone, Granade & Crosby in Daphne, AL to prosecute the case. Baldwin Legal Investigations was retained by Stone, Granade to investigate the accident and through a surveillance operation was able to document continuing safety violations. The case was finally settled earlier this year, with OSHA seeking $92,400 in fines.
Read more about how BLI provides surveillance services for a variety of private investigation clients.