The Maine home improvement contractor indicted earlier this year on charges of workplace manslaughter in the death of a roofer who was not wearing fall protection gear has pleaded not guilty, according to the Portland Press Herald. Owner Shawn Purvis faces one count of manslaughter and one count of workplace manslaughter for the death of a worker who fell from a roof on a residential jobsite in December.

The state requested conditions of bail, but Purvis, through his attorney, agreed to one and reserved the right to argue later on the others. Purvis agreed to turn over a list of workers present at job sites that were active within the last week, and to also list the location of upcoming job sites. But Purvis’s attorney, Thomas Hallett, objected to other proposed conditions, including that Purvis obtain and prove he has worker’s compensation insurance, and that he comply with all regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Under federal workplace safety laws, employers are required to provide safety equipment such as fall harnesses, or make accommodations to prevent falls, such as installing temporary handrails, when workers are at heights above a certain threshold. But Purvis argued that he is not an employer and instead hires independent subcontractors, and while he encourages workers to use the extensive collection of safety gear he provides, he cannot force them to comply. Purvis said he has battled OSHA for a dozen years over this point, and has refused to pay the roughly $44,000 in fines the safety agency has tried to levy against him.

Under federal OSHA guidelines, any contractor whose worker is exposed to a drop of more than 6 feet where there is no guardrail is required to make sure workers use fall protection, whether by personal safety harnesses, catch nets or other fall-arresting systems. The National Roofing Legal Resource Center also advises its members that even if they classify their workers as subcontractors, the person or entity that controls a job site is still responsible to ensure workers on the job follow guidelines.

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