Roofing company will pay $75,000 for causing death of an employee in 2019

An Old Bridge-based construction company admitted to violating Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, leading to the death of an employee.

Zona Roofing LLC, via its owner Yilbert Segura, pleaded guilty on Nov. 20, 2023, before U.S. Magistrate Judge José R. Almonte in Newark federal court to an information charging it with one count of willfully violating OSHA standards by failing to provide fall protection and fall protection training to employees engaged in the replacement of a residential roof, which caused the death of an employee.

According to U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger, documents filed in this case and statements made in court, Segura and four employees began a roof replacement project on a residential home located in Haledon, New Jersey, on Aug. 6, 2019.

Despite working more than 20 feet from the ground, employees for Zona Roofing were not equipped with any personal fall protection equipment, such as safety harnesses, lanyards, tie-off ropes, guard rails, safety nets, or other feasible means of fall protection.

None of the employees had received fall protection training to recognize the hazards of falling or the procedures to be followed to minimize those hazards.

On Aug. 8, 2019, while working on the roof, one of Zona Roofing’s employees lost his balance and fell approximately 22 feet to the ground, sustaining blunt force injuries to his head that resulted in his death.

The employee was not equipped with any fall protection gear, and he had not received any fall protection training. Zona Roofing was previously cited by Maryland OSHA in February 2019 for failing to provide fall protection to its employees.

If the court accepts the terms of the plea agreement, Zona Roofing will be sentenced to five years of probation and will pay restitution of $75,000 to the employee’s family members.

Zona Roofing must also follow specified conditions, including providing training procedures to all its employees and a requirement to follow enhanced safety provisions for future construction jobs. Sentencing is scheduled for March 25, 2024.

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