The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited and fined two Colorado companies for a dozen serious violations in the wake of a construction worker’s death at Village at the Peaks in August.
Tereso Zamarippa-Hernandez, 39, died after falling 15 feet through a hole in a roof and landing on concrete. Zamarippa-Hernandez was pronounced dead at the scene on Aug 31.
Erie-based Ramos Roofing, Zamarippa-Hernandez’ employer, was fined $11,460 for not having a safety program in place to check for the presence of holes and protecting employees from falling or tripping, according to OSHA.
Ramos was also cited for not properly training employees on safe ladder and stairway usage.
Colorado Springs-based Colorado Structures Incorporated was fined $12,775 for not initiating and maintaining a safety program to provide frequent and regular inspections of jobsites, materials and equipment, exposing workers to fall hazards. Ramos Roofing was also cited, OSHA an representative said.
OSHA cited both companies for not properly illuminating job sites and not properly securing and marking covers and making sure they were substantial enough to support employees.
Longmont police said at the time of the incident that Zamarippa-Hernandez fell through the hole in the roof before the sun had risen, and investigators didn’t find any flashlights on site.
OSHA determined the 12 violations between the two companies to be “serious,” documents show.
Ramos Roofing owner Alfredo Ramos said that he is working to reinforce safety policies but added that his company already had safety procedures in place at the time of the accident.
“We have a safety policy that encompasses everything currently,” Ramos said. “But we are going to reinforce and strengthen them. We are working with a safety consulting firm that is going to be a second set of eyes.”
Ramos declined to comment further but added that $30,000 was raised to help family members of Zamarippa-Hernandez in the immediate aftermath of the accident.
Attempts to reach CSI president Gabe Godwin via phone and email on Wednesday weren’t successful. A receptionist at the company said he was out of the office on Wednesday.
Newmark Merrill Mountain States, the property developer, had not responded to a request for comment as of Wednesday afternoon.
Herb Gibson, area director for the OSHA Denver Area Office, said both companies are working with OSHA to resolve the issues, and the companies have abated the hazards OSHA identified during its investigation.
He urged employers to visit osha.gov to get information on fall protection. He said fall protection is the number one priority in Colorado, and a local program has been in place for about 10 years.
“There’s an amazing amount of information on the website,” he said. “We would like employers to have a comprehensive (fall protection) program in place to ensure employees are protected.”