Construction Worker Killed in Fall From Vikings Stadium
All construction work on the U.S Bank Stadium in Minneapolis was put on hold after a construction worker fell 50 feet off the roof and died. The construction worker, Jeramie Gruber, fell while performing roofing work on the north side of the new Minnesota Vikings Stadium. A second worker was also injured but it is not known how. The Minneapolis Fire Department crews had to extract the second victim from a crevice by using a rescue basket. He was then stabilized on the roof and taken to the hospital. He is listed in stable condition.
The Mortenson Construction executive was visibly shaken by the tragedy, and promised a thorough investigation. John Wood, senior vice president of Mortenson stated, “A man lost his life on this project today, and that simply should never happen.” He continued, “Our priority is to know exactly what happened and ensure that it never happens again.”
The cause of Gruber’s fall is still under investigation. It was just 45 minutes into their shift when something happened on the north side of the roof to cause Gruber to fall and to cause injuries to the other victim. Both victims were employed by a subcontractor, Berwald Roofing of North St. Paul, a company known for big projects, like Target Field and TCF Bank Stadium along with several office buildings, hospitals, and malls. About 25 Berwald employees have been working on the Vikings stadium. “When something like this happens, it hits people very hard,” Wood said.
There is a rule in construction that states if workers are six or more feet above a lower level, they need to be protected from falls. According to records, Berwald has been cited nine times by the OSHA since 2010, mostly for lack of fall protection.
The Minnesota Vikings released a statement, “Today is an extremely sad day for the Minnesota Vikings organization and the entire stadium team. Our sincere thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the individual who passed away, the worker who remains hospitalized, and the more than 1,000 dedicated construction workers who are on the site every day and are also affected by this accident.”
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges also released a statement, “Today we in Minneapolis grieve for the loss of the worker who lost his life in a tragic accident. I know that, like me, the people of Minneapolis send their sympathies, prayers and thoughts to his family and friends in this terrible time. I hope they have what they need to grieve well. We also send our wishes for a thorough and speedy recovery to the other worker who was injured today; our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family as well.”
One of Gruber’s family members said that he would have celebrated his second wedding anniversary in October. Owners, architects, equipment manufacturers, supervisors, and many others may be at least partially responsible for site safety and, therefore, responsible for accidents and injuries. All contractors are required to provide a “reasonably safe site” and to warn of hazards, comply with safety specification, and hire competent workers. Due to their use on the construction site, equipment manufacturers bear some responsibility for site safety, and defective or dangerous equipment may be devastating. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a construction accident contact the Heavens Law Firm for the legal assistance you need to seek compensation.