On August, 26th, 2015, at the construction site for Minneapolis’ new U.S. Bank Stadium, Jeramie Gruber fell to his death. According to a workplace official from the site, “While installing a solid roof, two roofers fell and slid down the roof. One struck a post and stopped, but was injured. The other broke through a guardrail and fell onto an elevated platform, below.” Investigation estimates assert that Gruber fell roughly fifty feet.
The results of an OSHA state-run investigation of the U.S. Bank Stadium construction site, the new home of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, managed by Mortenson Construction and subcontractor Berwald Roofing, yielded one “willful” and three “serious” violations, including a failure to provide proper fall protection on the part of Berwald Roofing and a violation of general safety and health provisions by Mortenson Construction. The identified violations and subsequent citations levied against Berwald Roofing and Mortenson Construction are $139,100 and $34,300, respectively. According to reports by the Star Tribune, Berwald Roofing have been the subject of OSHA inspections in the past and have been cited nine times, since 2010, with fines totaling more than $12,500. Mortenson Construction Senior Vice President, John Wood, said, “At Mortenson, safety is a core value, and we are committed to eliminating the risk of injury on all of our projects,”
With serious accidents like that of the U.S. Bank Stadium site, the imperative is that all standards for the safety of those employees working on-site are enacted and monitored closely. A comprehensive safety program should always be studied and implemented by those individuals in a supervisory position.
Both companies, Berwald Roofing and Mortenson Construction, have voiced their full-throated support for the investigatory processes that OSHA is undergoing in its evaluation of the site. Berwald Roofing President, Eugene Berwald, has voiced his intention to assist OSHA in “reach(ing) a final determination on its findings.”