VT Company Under Investigation After Employee’s Fatal Fall Incident

19 Oct, 2018 Liz Carey


Bellows Falls, VT (WorkersCompensation.com) – A VT roofing and construction company is under investigation after an employee fell to his death in September, officials said.

Jancewicz & Sons, of Bellows Falls, VT, is under investigation by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) following the death of 33-year-old Derek Goldsmith of Westminster, VT.

Goldsmith died on Sept. 22 when he fell from the roof of a residential worksite in New Hampshire. No other details about his death were available. According to his obituary, Goldsmith died unexpectedly and was survived by a girlfriend, two children and other close family members.

J. Stephen Monahan, Director of the Workers’ Compensation & Safety Division for the Vermont Department of Labor, said in an email to WorkersCompensation.com that all questions regarding the death of Goldsmith should be directed to federal OSHA offices.

“The jobsite, and death, occurred in New Hampshire and Vermont has no legal authority to investigate,” Monahan said.

Calls and messages to the company, and attorney representation for the company, were not returned by press time.

According to Monahan, Jancewicz & Sons had previous investigations for safety violations. WorkersCompensation.com requested the filings from VOSHA, but had not received them by press time. 

In April 2017, the company was cited for several violations, some of them labeled “serious.” Many of the violations revolved around unsafe scaffolding erected at a job site for the North Universalist Chapel Society in Woodstock, VT. 

According to OSHA documents, as reported by the Reformer, the scaffolding was not erected properly, and was too close to electrical lines. OSHA officials photographed the scaffolding and noted that Jancewicz employees used a step ladder on the scaffolding, in violation of OSHA regulations.

Company officials agreed to the $2,500 fine, instead of a $7,600 fine, and agreed to spend the remaining balance on safety training and investment in safety equipment.

According to the Reformer, included in the filing with the Department of Labor, Jancewicz said it had purchased $18,000 worth of safety equipment, and safety training for its employees. As proof, the company provided pay vouchers for more than $8,000 for 33 employees who had undergone safety training since the Woodstock incident. One of the employees who received training, according to the documents, was Goldsmith — and two of his pay vouchers were dated Sept. 27, five days after his death.

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    About The Author

    • Liz Carey

      Liz Carey has worked as a writer, reporter and editor for nearly 25 years. First, as an investigative reporter for Gannett and later as the Vice President of a local Chamber of Commerce, Carey has covered everything from local government to the statehouse to the aerospace industry. Her work as a reporter, as well as her work in the community, have led her to become an advocate for the working poor, as well as the small business owner.

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