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Published November 28 2012

Fargo contractor settles with OSHA over fatal accident at WF school site

WEST FARGO – A Fargo contractor has agreed to pay $16,800 in penalties for a May 25 construction accident that killed a man who was working on the high school addition to Sheyenne Ninth Grade Center in West Fargo.

Lee Jones & Son Construction negotiated the settlement with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

An OSHA investigation into the accident that killed 30-year-old Trevor Skarphol of Fargo found that the contractor committed three serious violations related to the erection of steel columns and the use of anchor rods.

Skarphol was killed when a 28-foot steel beam fell on him.

His employer, Scott’s Electric of Wahpeton, did not commit any violations, OSHA found.

The agency had proposed $21,000 in penalties against Lee Jones & Son, which then had 15 business days to accept or contest the findings. The penalties were reduced by 20 percent, to $16,800, in an informal settlement agreement signed by company president Tim Jones.

The company also agreed to implement a safety and health program or improve its existing program to meet or exceed OSHA guidelines.

Jones did not return a phone message seeking comment.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528