Craigue & Sons no longer contesting $40,279 in OSHA fines after worker’s death in Concord

Monitor staff
Published: 9/20/2019 11:20:35 AM
Modified: 9/20/2019 11:20:21 AM

A local contractor is no longer contesting thousands of dollars in fines proposed by federal regulators who uncovered numerous safety violations in the months after a Concord man died at a Pleasant Street worksite last year.

Craigue & Sons Home Exteriors recently filed notice with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration that it will not fight five citations, totaling $40,279, a spokesman said this week. OSHA launched an investigation in late August 2018 after 51-year-old Kenneth McKenna fell off a roof at 280 Pleasant St. and later died at Concord Hospital.

At the same time, a criminal case against the company’s owner, Nathan Craigue, is moving forward in U.S. District Court in Concord. Craigue, who is accused of lying to a federal compliance officer after McKenna’s death, could stand trial as early as January.

Federal prosecutors allege Craigue, a Concord resident, lied to the officer on Aug. 28, 2018, and again on Oct. 24, 2018, when he said McKenna was a subcontractor and not an employee. Craigue faces two counts of false statement to a federal agent. If convicted, he faces years in prison.

Assistant Federal Defender Dorothy Graham, who is representing Craigue, wrote that the primary issue in dispute is “whether McKenna met the legal definition of an employee versus that of an independent contractor – an area of law that may require consultation with an expert.” A jury trial was initially scheduled for mid-September but continued for 90 days to give the defense additional time to prepare its case.

Craigue remains out of jail on bail conditions as he awaits trial.

McKenna – who friends say worked for the family-owned contracting company for approximately two decades – died on Aug. 28, 2018, after he fell roughly 30 feet from a roof and landed on a concrete-like surface below, authorities said. That summer morning, McKenna was replacing the siding on a two-story commercial building at 280 Pleasant St., which houses medical offices.

Approximately four months after his death, OSHA cited Craigue & Sons, accusing the company of not having fall protection systems in place and of failing to provide fall protection training to its employees.

Additionally, investigators said the contractor did not inspect a Werner fiberglass ladder used by employees for accessing the roof, noting that it was damaged and should have been out of service. The ladder was installed on a roof bracket scaffolding system and used to increase an employee’s working height, which is not permitted except on large area scaffolds, OSHA said.

OSHA further cited Craigue & Sons for failing to report McKenna’s hospitalization within 24 hours, as required by federal law.

A final pretrial hearing in the criminal case against Craigue is scheduled for Jan. 7 at 10:30 a.m. in U.S. District Court in Concord.

(Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 369-3319 or at adandrea@cmonitor.com.)



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