Haverhill’s Ortiz Is Second Roofer to Die in Project Supervised by NEI Contracting

Roofers were killed in construction projects overseen by Randolph-based NEI General Contracting, OSHA records show. (File photograph)

City roofer Carlos Ortiz is the second roofer in two years to die in an accident sustained during a renovation overseen by NEI General Contracting, WHAV has confirmed.

Employed by River Street’s Progressive Roofing at the time of his death, Ortiz was working nine stories up at 98 Essex St., last month when he fell down what is said to be an elevator shaft. The Essex Street project—a renovation of the former Chen building—was overseen by construction management company NEI out of Randolph. NEI in turn subcontracted Progressive Roofing to carry out related on-site duties.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration holds general contractors like NEI responsible to make sure work is carried out safely and complies with OSHA standards. Ortiz’s death triggered an OSHA investigation that runs concurrent to that of the Essex County District Attorney, and looks into potential violations of the OSHA act rather than the cause of the roofer’s death.

Documents uncovered by WHAV show that the Dec. 18 incident is not the first time NEI was subject to an OSHA investigation.

Rockwell Roofing was the company contracted by NEI for a job on Dorchester’s Magnolia Street in November 2016 when a roofer fell and died on impact, OSHA records show.

“The employee was laying down insulation when he fell off the roof and was killed after landing on the pavement,” OSHA’s accident investigation summary reads.

That same year, NEI was slapped with a fine of $10,267—later dismissed during the settlement phase—after a subcontractor on the same Dorchester project came into contact with an exposed electrical conductor and was shocked.

Results of OSHA’s investigation into the December accident in Haverhill are not expected for several months, the agency told WHAV.

After 3:29pm on Friday January 25th, 2019 this article available to paying WHAV members only.

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