Craigue & Sons owner accused of lying to U.S. investigator after worker’s death

Monitor staff
Published: 7/12/2019 4:31:17 PM
Modified: 7/12/2019 4:31:05 PM

A Concord man is accused of lying to a federal officer who was investigating the death of an employee at a Pleasant Street worksite last year.

Nathan Craigue, 43, who owns Craigue & Sons Home Exteriors, told a safety and health officer with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that 51-year-old Kenneth McKenna was a subcontractor and not an employee, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Friday.

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

Craigue is accused of making false statements to the officer on Aug. 28 and in a follow-up conversation on Oct. 24, U.S. attorneys said. He was arraigned Friday in U.S. District Court in Concord and a trial has been tentatively scheduled for Sept. 17.

OSHA opened an investigation into McKenna’s death in late August of last year and has since fined Craigue & Sons a total of $40,279 for workplace safety violations it found in the proceeding months.

OSHA has issued five citations against Craigue & Sons who inspectors maintain did not have fall protection systems in place and failed to provide fall protection training to its employees. OSHA requires employers to provide roofers fall protection equipment, such as personal fall arrest systems, guardrails or safety nets, whenever they work six-feet or more above a lower level.

Inspectors also say the contractor did not inspect a Werner fiberglass ladder used by employees for accessing the roof, noting that it was damaged and should not have been used. 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.

Further, OSHA said Craigue & Sons failed to report McKenna’s hospitalization within 24 hours after the incident occurred, as required by federal law.

Craigue & Sons is contesting the citations. As a result, the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission has assigned the case to an administrative law judge who will preside over the litigation process. If both sides are able to resolve the case, there will be a formal settlement without a hearing.

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

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