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Fall Death of 15 Year Old Brings $23,800 OSHA fine

Despite being only 15 years old, Luis Montoya was able to get a job on a highly hazardous demolition job site in the Atlanta area last year. According to a report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, in an incident last November:

“Witnesses said Montoya was tossing debris from the third floor to the ground floor when he lost his balance and toppled through an empty escalator shaft. He fell about 40 feet.”

OSHA fined the company $23,800 yesterday, on top of over $50,000 in fines from the US Department of Labor for child labor violations. The company was also found in violation of wage and hour laws, having failed to pay over $100,000 in overtime to its workers.

The company had been cited twice previously for violations of the fall protection standard. Is a $23,800 fine adequate for a company that hires young teens to do dangerous work, fails repeatedly to provide fall protection to its workers, and ignores overtime pay laws? You be the judge.