Crime

Company guilty in 2014 death of worker at Kansas City construction site

A federal judge has found a Missouri company guilty of violating a safety rule that resulted in the death of a worker at a Kansas City construction site.

Eric Roach, 22, of Raymore, died after he fell more than 30 feet from a steel beam while working on July 24, 2014, at the site in the 3500 block of East 149th Street.

He was working for St. Louis-based Fastrack Erectors, a subcontractor on the project, and federal prosecutors subsequently charged the company with violating an Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulation.

The charge is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum fine of $500,000.

Fastrack requested a trial before a judge, and based on evidence presented at the trial, a judge in Kansas City found the company guilty of violating the OSHA rule.

The judge found that the company did not provide the workers with necessary fall protection equipment and permitted them to work without the equipment.

“In the present case, the court holds Fastrack’s conduct was the cause in fact of Roach’s death because it finds that had the appropriate fall protection equipment been available, Roach would have used it and not fallen to his death,” Chief Judge Greg Kays wrote in his ruling. “Fastrack’s conduct was also the legal cause of Roach’s death because his death was a foreseeable and natural result of Fastrack’s allowing him to work more than 36 feet above the ground without fall protection.”

Kays ordered a pre-sentence investigation and will set a sentencing date after it is completed.

Tony Rizzo: 816-234-4435, @trizzkc

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