State regulators have issued a $25,000 fine against a subcontractor whose worker fell to his death from a roof last year at the Sparboe Farms complex west of the Twin Cities.
Ruben R. Esquivel Solis, 23, of Okabena, Minn., was installing tin atop a chicken barn in June 21 and fell nearly 30 feet to the concrete floor. A board broke, sending Solis to his death at the site on Hwy. 12 in Darwin Township.
Pro-X Builders Inc., of Sioux Falls, S.D., was fined by Minnesota's Occupational Safety and Health Administration late last year, according to a newly released OSHA inspection report.
The subcontractor violated the OSHA safety regulation that requires "each employee engaged in a steel erection activity who is on a walking/working surface with an unprotected side or edge more than 15 feet above a lower level shall be protected from fall hazards by guardrail systems, safety net systems, personal fall arrest systems, positioning device systems or fall restraint systems."
Pro-X Builders has not contested the penalty, according to the report, but the case remains open. Messages were left Tuesday with Pro-X seeking reaction to the fine.
At the time of the death, Sparboe was leveling and replacing several barns. Sparboe is one of the nation's leading egg producers.
In a statement, Sparboe Farms said it was "deeply saddened" by the incident and that it cooperated with the investigation. "We strive to provide safe working environment for Sparboe employees and we expect contractors and subcontractors who work for us to also follow safety regulations and best practices," the company said.
In 2012, 269 of the 775 construction deaths in the nation were the result of falls, according to federal safety records.