Roofing Contractor Sentenced to 3 Years Probation for Lying to OSHA Inspectors

Alabama contractor sentenced to 3 years probation, 30 hours of community service and OSHA fines of $55,000 for safety violations

50517172 2503268396367511 6531766717360635904 N

The U.S. Department of Justice has charged Marcus Borden with making false statements and lying to U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspectors. Borden plead guilty to one count of making false statements after three workers were seriously injured due to lack of fall protection. Borden was sentenced o three years of supervised probation and must complete 30 hours of community service.

The incident occurred on a worksite in Cordova. Alabama on March 18, 2013. Borden told an OSHA inspector that he had been present on the jobsite the day of the accident and that he had obtained personal fall arrest equipment to protect workers from falls on March 13, 2013, when actually he retained the equipment on March 18, 2013, after the incident occurred. Borden also claimed that employees had been tied off when he knew, in fact, they were not. 

Borden was supervising a crew of five men working on a roofing project when a severe thunderstorm occurred. Three of the five men were seriously injured. One worker was thrown against the edge of a new metal roof and suffered a left arm amputation; a second worker was thrown across the roof and suffered an injured shoulder. A third worker became wrapped in a sheet of metal, managed to escape, but was carried by the momentum over the roof's edge and fell 30 feet to the ground. The worker broke his wrists, ribs, tail bone and pelvis. None of the workers had been provided with fall protection equipment, none of them were tied-off to the roof at the time of the accident or had a means to exit the roof quickly. 

OSHA cited Borden for six safety violations following the incident, including a willful citation for failing to provide workers with fall protection while working within six feet of an open edge that was 30 feet above the ground.

Additionally, four serious violations were cited for exposing workers to severe weather conditions and not securing metal decking during inclement weather conditions. One other violation was cited for failing to notify OSHA about the workers being admitted to the hospital due to a work-related incident. Borden contested OSHA's citations but later settled the case, agreeing to all violations as cited and a penalty of $55,000. The settlement was approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission and became a final order on July 23, 2014.