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Investigation Underway to Determine Why a 15-Year-Old Boy Fell to His Death on the First Day of Work

July 06, 2019

CULLMAN, AL — Authorities are working to determine why a 15-year-old teenager on the first day on the job fell 40 feet to his death. The 15-year-old boy was working for a roofing company when he fell around 11:00 a.m. according to WHNT news. Authorities believe that the young worker was not wearing a harness when he fell. Rescuers pronounced the young man dead at the scene of the fall. Law enforcement authorities have not released the teen’s name because of his age. *

Police, along with investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, are combing through the evidence compiled to this juncture of the investigation to figure out how a 15-year-old boy was allowed by his employer to go up on a roof untrained and without a harness. The first reports from the accident scene state that the boy was 40 feet above a concrete floor when he stepped on some insulation. The insulation gave way, and the boy fell through the hole and landed on the concrete below. Resuscitation efforts were fruitless. The boy and his crew were working on an old factory. 

Not much is known about the young man who died. According to the Tuscaloosa News, the boy’s older brother was working with him when he fell. Authorities believe that the boy’s older brother was his only family in the area. The Tuscaloosa News, along with other news outlets reported that the young man was a native of Guatemala, and his immigration status is not known at this time.

The trade magazine Workers’ Compensation News wrote that the 15-year-old was not old enough to work when he died. The trade publication opined that the presence of harnesses at the job site, although rigged to the roof and left unused indicates that there was poor management on the job site along with a culture that permitted inattention to safety details.

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