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Negligent Contractor Ordered To Pay $305,275 Restitution In Death Of Roof Worker In Fair Lawn

U.S. Department of Labor New York Region’s Office of the Inspector General
U.S. Department of Labor New York Region’s Office of the Inspector General Photo Credit: oig.dol.gov

UPDATE: A contactor and his firm who'd previously been cited by OSHA for failing to protect employees from falls was formally ordered Thursday to pay $305,275 in restitution to the estate of a roof worker who plunged to his death during a job in Fair Lawn.

Trustworthy Roofing and Siding of Newark and its owner, Derico Ferreira, will remain on probation for five years and must follow specific steps as part of a plea deal with the government following the October 2016 tragedy on Vanore Drive, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig said.

The 33-year-old victim fell during the installation of an ice and water shield on the two-story, two-family home, Honig said.

The company “did not use or provide to its employees any personal fall protection equipment, such as safety harnesses, lanyards, tie-off ropes, guard rails, safety nets, or other feasible means of fall protection, while they were working on the roof,” she said.

Ferreira also “had the required equipment in his truck, and could have also installed a guard rail system around the perimeter of the roof from a ladder, prior to the start of roofing work but failed to do so,” the U.S. attorney said.

The company was previously cited by OSHA during an inspection in 2014 for failing to provide fall protection to its employees, Honig noted.

Ferreira took a deal from the government rather than face trial for the Fair Lawn incident.

He pleaded guilty this past May to “willfully violating OSHA standards by failing to provide fall protection to employees engaged in the construction of a residential home,” Honig said.

Besides the probation and fine, she said, the terms of the plea deal require him and his company to:

provide training procedures to all its employees;

follow enhanced safety provisions for future construction jobs;

notify OSHA of each new construction job the company undertakes;

permit entry to OSHA employees at all of its worksites.

Honig credited special agents of the New York Region’s U.S. Department of Labor Office of the Inspector General, along with Daniel Hennefeld -- who is counsel for OSHA’s Region 2 Solicitor’s Office -- and OSHA compliance officers with the investigation.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason P. Garelick of her Government Fraud Unit in Newark secured the guilty plea and sentence, she said.

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