Company cited by OSHA in January fatal accident

The site of the accident in January. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)
The site of the accident in January. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

A Southold man who was killed by falling industrial equipment in Mattituck in January was not wearing a hard hat at the time and hadn’t received training about construction dangers, according to findings of a federal investigation into the accident.

The company for which the victim was working — Romeo Dimon Marine Service — has been fined $28,000 for four “serious” violations related to the accident, federal officials said.

Andrew Leone, 30, was working at a site on Sound Avenue on Jan. 23 when the bucket of a skid-steer loader fell off and struck his head, authorities said. Mr. Leone suffered “severe head trauma” and died at the scene, town police said.

Though the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating, no one was criminally charged in relation to the incident.

Last Monday, OSHA issued four citations against Romeo Dimon. The investigation found that Steven Romeo —  who was operating the skid-steer loader at the time of the fatal accident — had not been trained on how to use the equipment, according to copies of the citations provided by OSHA.

Federal investigators also found, according to the citations, that the company “did not assess the workplace to determine if hazards are present” and didn’t provide training to construction workers about the dangers of overhead hazards.

The company also cited because supervisors at the job site didn’t make Mr. Leone wear a hard hat, OSHA officials said. Three of the violations related to that issue were listed as “corrected,” though Romeo Dimon will still have to pay a $7,000 fine on each.

Business co-owner Kris Dimon declined to comment on the OSHA investigation.

“It was a tragic accident; that’s all I can say,” he said. “And my business or personal life will never be the same because of it.”

Romeo Dimon had never been cited by OSHA before, though OSHA Long Island area director Tony Ciuffo said the federal agency doesn’t automatically inspect employers except as part of a specific agency initiative or when local authorities give OSHA a reason to investigate.

Romeo Dimon has until July 15 to either pay the fines assessed and prove the issues have been addressed or contest the citations with OSHA.

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