The death of a construction worker atop the Minnesota Vikings’ new stadium occurred after he slid down a roof, broke through a guardrail and fell to an elevated platform below, according to a description posted Tuesday on the state Department of Labor and Industry’s fatality investigation page.
Both Jeramie Gruber, who died, and a second worker fell while installing a solid roof, the report said. The worker who survived struck a post that stopped his descent.
The information was posted on the monthly Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration Division’s fatality investigation report page. The page also indicates that an investigation is open into the incident, which occurred at 7:45 a.m. last Wednesday.
The entire description of the accident reads: “While installing a solid roof, two roofers fell and slid down the roof. One struck a post and stopped, but was injured. The other broke through a guardrail and fell onto an elevated platform below.”
The update gives no indication of when the investigation will be complete or the results made public, and it does not address the question of whether the men had or should have had safety harnesses. The process can take months or even years if contractors dispute the findings.
The two men were employees of Mortenson Construction’s subcontractor Berwald Roofing Co. of North St. Paul.
Mortenson executive John Wood said that “the investigation into the tragic incident involving two workers on the U.S. Bank Stadium site is ongoing. We believe it’s appropriate to allow OSHA to finalize their report and to review the findings before providing further comment.”
The surviving worker was released from Hennepin County Medical Center after he received 48 stitches for a deep cut to his leg.
Gruber, 35, was buried Monday in Faribault, Minn., where he grew up and graduated from high school. His obituary on the Boldt Funeral Home website said he was a “kind, honest, loving man” who enjoyed spending time with his wife, Amy Kaplan, and their dog, Girl.