Roofing company owner pleads guilty to fatal fall charges

James J. McCullagh, owner of James J. McCullagh Roofing, Jenkintown, Pa., pleaded guilty to one count of willfully violating an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulation causing death to an employee; four counts of making false statements; and one count of obstruction of justice, according to www.osha.gov.

The charges stem from a June 2013 incident when a worker fell 45 feet from a roof while performing roofing repairs on a church in Philadelphia. During OSHA's investigation, McCullagh falsely stated on four occasions he had provided fall-protection equipment to his employees. McCullagh now faces a maximum statutory sentence of 25 years in prison, a possible fine, supervised release and a $510 special assessment.

McCullagh's company still faces civil penalties for willful and serious OSHA violations related to the accident. The civil matter is pending before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. McCullagh's company is not an NRCA member.