Pelham roofing company fined following minor’s job-site death

FROM STAFF REPORTS

MONTGOMERY – The Alabama Department of Labor has issued fines in the amount of $15,000 to Apex Roofing and Restoration of Pelham for violations that contributed to the death of a 15-year-old minor last summer.

Apex Roofing and Restoration is being charged with violating the following provisions of Alabama’s Child Labor Law:

  • Prohibited Occupations –Under 18. No person under 18 years of age shall be employed or permitted, or suffered to work at any of the following occupations, positions, or places…In any roofing, scaffolding, or sandblasting operations (one violation at $5,000).
  • Prohibited Occupations–Under 16: In any work in or about a rolling mill, machine shop, or manufacturing establishment which is hazardous or dangerous to health, limb or life (one violation at $5,000); repairing, painting, or cleaning building or structures while working at the top of ladders, lifts, or scaffolds exceeding a height of 6 feet (one violation at $5,000).

On July 1, 2019, the Child Labor Enforcement Division was notified of a death involving a minor in roofing operations being directed by Apex Roofing and Restoration on a project in Cullman.

The minor child was performing work on a roof when he fell approximately 50 feet onto a concrete floor below. The minor child died from his injuries.

A joint investigation with the U.S. Department of Labor and OSHA determined that no safety equipment was being used by the crew on the roof of the accident.

“We want to make it clear that Alabama will not tolerate workplace violations regarding minor workers,” Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said. “These are the maximum fines allowable by state law. What happened to this child was not only a tragedy, but a completely avoidable one. We continue to share our condolences with the victim’s family.”

“At no time should anyone under the age of 18 be working on a roof,” said Robin Wilburn, Child Labor Supervisor. “The law is very clear, and this employer was in direct violation.”

The employer has an opportunity to contest the penalties by filing a written objection to the Alabama Department of Labor within 30 days.

Eight teenagers have died in prohibited occupations since 2000.