Cranberry company fined, gets probation for employee death

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A Cranberry company will spend a year on probation and pay a $25,000 fine for willfully violating an Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulation that resulted in the death of an employee.

American Asbestos Control Co. pleaded guilty to one count in April. Yesterday, Senior U.S. District Judge Alan N. Bloch sentenced the company, following along with what had been agreed to by both sides in the plea agreement.

The company had been contracted to remove an asbestos-filled roof at a steel processing plant in Ambridge.

American Asbestos hired a Mexican national -- through a temporary company in North Carolina -- to work there, and Saul F. Martinez, 27, of High Point, N.C., was killed on April 18, 2005.

Though he was wearing a safety harness, Mr. Martinez fell 48 feet through an uncovered skylight and died.

The man did not have adequate fall protection, prosecutors said, and other employees had previously complained about safety conditions.

According to court documents, the company was required to "cover and protect skylight openings and to provide fall protection for employees working on steep roofs and exposed to fall hazards of 40 to 60 feet."


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