15-year-old fatally falls from roof; dies first day on the job

Local News
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CULLMAN, Ala. (WIAT) — A 15-year-old child fell approximately 40 feet while working on a roof in Cullman. Police confirm the minor died as a result of the fall.

Cullman Police received a call at 10:55 a.m. Monday of the accident. Officers tell us this was the 15-year-old’s first day on the job and he was working alongside his brother.

The child was from Guatemala and lives in the Vestavia Hills area. He fell after stepping onto an unsupported section of the roof. Officers say the boy either fell as a result of this misstep or fell through the roof.

According to police, this was the boy’s first day working for W&W Restoration, which was subcontracted by Apex Roofing. Officers say there was safety equipment on-site, but that it was not used.

“We learned there was safety equipment installed on the roof for the workers. However, it appeared none of the safety equipment was used.”

Lt. Todd Chiaranda with the Cullman Police Department.

An employee of the restoration company told a Cullman Detective on-scene that they are aware it is common for employees to not use the safety equipment provided. Police described the safety equipment as a steel cable set-up, in which workers attach a harness.

CBS 42 reached out to Apex Roofing, the company subcontracted out the job. Their lawyer tells us they never hire workers younger than 19. The lawyer also stated that in the past, they have fired and terminated relations with subcontractors that do not follow state and federal law.

“The state of Alabama has regulations in relation to the employment of juveniles, however, Apex’s policy is to not hire anyone under the age of 19. Apex also requires their subcontractors to comply with all state regulations and we learn a subcontractor does not follow state and federal regulations, Apex does not continue doing work with those subcontractors.”

Edward Merrell; attorney for Apex Roofing

The Cullman County coroner says he expects no foul play involved. OSHA was on-site Monday, conducting its own investigation into the fall.

Police believe the boy’s only family is his brother, who was on-site at the time of the fall.

For more information regarding Alabama’s Child Labor Laws, click here.

This is a developing story and we will update it as more information is available.

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