LEWISTON - Two Auburn businesses and one based in Biddeford were cited by a federal agency for violations after two men fell through skylights on snow-covered roofs.
George Beam of Biddeford had been on the roof of theAuburn Mall during the afternoon to repair the building's heating, ventilation and air conditioning system when he plunged through a Plexiglas skylight more than 20 feet and landed on a concrete floor. He was listed in critical condition at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.
Beam, who was 43 years old at the time of the fall, was an employee at Atlantic Comfort Systems Inc. of Biddeford. After his stay at the Lewiston hospital, he was transferred to a Portland hospital for rehabilitation and was expected to be released from hospital care within several months.
A local fire official said Beam apparently mistook the skylight for a snowdrift.
Both Auburn Plaza Inc., owner of the mall, and the Biddeford company were investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration and cited for "serious" violations.
The mall was ordered to better protect a hatchway opening to the roof with railings and install a "screen or fixed standard railing on all exposed sides" of the skylight.
OSHA fined Atlantic Comfort Systems $1,400 for not having proper skylight protections in place to prevent falling through a skylight, a "serious" violation, and $200 for not keeping a five-year log of reportable injuries and illnesses, according to Maryann Medeiros, area director at OSHA.
James Dugay, 48, was shoveling snow from the roof at Hartt Transportation Systems on Hotel Road in Auburn in March when he fell through a skylight about 25 feet onto a pile of boxes before landing on the floor. Dugay was conscious and didn't show any obvious injuries. He was taken to a hospital, where he was released later that day, fire officials said.