2 Minnesota Companies Fined for Vikings Stadium Roofing Accident

Mortenson Construction and subcontractor Berwald Roofing now face fines in the amount of $173,400 for the on-site accident that killed one worker and injured another. The accident in question took place outside the U.S. Bank Stadium, home to the Minnesota Vikings NFL team, in August 2015.

Following an investigation by the state Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the two companies were cited for “serious” and “willful” safety violations. According to the Star Tribune, details of the citations and fines can be found on the federal Department of Labor’s website.

The case is of particular interest because of the noted “willful” violation in the reports. Citations like this one are not commonly seen and are only issued when an investigation determines that an employer was aware of a hazardous condition and made no reasonable effort to eliminate it.

When asked about the case, an OSHA spokesman declined to comment, as it is still open.

CBS News reports that Jermie Gruber, 35, slid down roofing and broke through a guardrail, falling more than 50 feet to his death. Another employee was also seriously injured at the site and was also employed by Berwald Roofing of North St. Paul.

Considering that roofs over 20 years old are more likely to succumb to the harsh winter conditions common in the Minnesota area, the companies should have been aware of the dangers that come with repairs for such a large stadium.

“We were and remain deeply saddened by this terrible accident and understand how devastating it has been for all those affected by it, especially the families involved,” said Mortenson Construction in a statement. “At Mortenson, safety is a core value and we are committed to eliminating the risk of injury on all of our projects. We will never lose that focus and we will continue to ensure it is the foremost priority.”

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