A Pennsylvania roofing company has pleaded guilty to violating a federal workplace safety regulation in the case of a worker who was electrocuted as a result of his scaffold coming into contact with a power line.

The company, Zeke & Son Roofing and Siding Specialist, entered the plea before a federal judge. As you may know, under federal law, corporations can be charged with crimes as though they were persons.

The 24 year old worker died on March 10th while working on a roofing job. Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigators said a power line fell onto an aluminum ladder that employees had been using to climb onto the scaffolding earlier that day. After utility workers repaired the line, they told the company to move the scaffold because it was too close to the power lines.

The company’s workers started tearing down the scaffold, but put it back up after the utility workers left. Even though the worker fell 30 feet to the ground, he was killed by the electric shock.

The company, since renamed Zeke & Son Contractors Inc., pleaded guilty to a willful violation of an OSHA regulation causing the death of an employee. The firm faces up to one year on probation and $500,000 in fines and will be sentenced in January of next year.

OSHA cited the company for several violations and proposed $102,000 in separate workplace safety fines as a result. The company initially contested the citations, but later agreed to pay $50,000 in fines as part of a settlement.


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