OSHA has cited two Alabama construction contractors for exposing employees to fall hazards after a 15-year-old worker suffered fatal injuries at a Cullman, Ala., worksite in July. Apex Roofing and Restoration and WW Restoration face $159,118 in proposed penalties for the alleged violations.

OSHA cited the companies for exposing employees to fall hazards while performing roofing activities without adequate fall protection and for failing to provide proper training to workers. Apex Roofing and Restoration and WW Restoration, while separate entities, have been cited as a single employer by OSHA because both shared supervision on a common worksite and have interrelated operations and integrated working relationships.

“Employers have a legal duty to ensure that their employees are protected at all times,” OSHA Birmingham, Ala., area director Ramona Morris said in an OSHA news release. “This responsibility includes providing appropriate training and conducting assessments to make sure workers understand hazards, and supplying fall protection to minimize the risk of serious or fatal injuries.”

The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division is also investigating both employers for child labor provisions under the Fair Labor Standards Act. According to a police report after the worker's death, the day of the fatal fall was the teenager's first day on the job as a construction worker. Police said safety equipment was installed on the roof but was not being used by the workers.

Apex Roofing and Restoration and WW Restoration have 15 days from their receipt of the OSHA citations and penalties to comply, request an informal hearing with their OSHA area director, or contest the findings.