New York Roofer Connected With 2 Worker Deaths

White Plains, NY– In February 2019, an employee of ALJ Home Improvements Inc. fell to his death at a worksite, and in February 2022, another employee faced a similar fate.

ALJ owner Jose Lema has now admitted responsibility for one of the deaths. Lema, 41, pled guilty in U.S. District Court to willfully violating federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, leading to the death of an employee.

The first incident occurred in 2018 when a roofer slipped and fell 35 feet, not wearing a required safety harness. ALJ faced citations and fines, but over the following years, continued to violate OSHA regulations. From 2019 into 2023, OSHA said inspectors performed eight investigations of ALJ worksites that resulted in the issuance of 24 willful citations, 16 serious citations, and more than $2.3 million in penalties.OSHA Roofing

In February 2022, another employee died in a fall due to safety violations. Lema, also known as Jose Lema Mizhirumbay, was charged with a misdemeanor OSHA crime and consented to penalties and safety procedures in a civil action. The victim’s identity has not been disclosed, and Lema faces potential imprisonment for up to six months and a fine of up to $250,000. He is scheduled for sentencing on May 22, 2024.