Construction worker's fatal fall raises questions of site safety

- The death of a construction worker who fell more than a dozen stories from a construction site in uptown Charlotte Wednesday afternoon is raising questions about the safety of the site. 

Juvenito Mata-Hernandez, 24, was riding in a construction elevator at the 19th floor of the Legacy Union construction site when he fell out of it, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police.

The company behind the project, Gilbane Building Co., has a lengthy list of OSHA violations. OSHA records indicate that Gilbane received 35 violations, all related to fall protection, since 2009. The company paid more than $12,000 in penalty, according to OSHA records. Those violations took place in several states, from New Hampshire to Texas. 

Gilbane Building released a statement to FOX 46, which reads: 

"We are saddened to report that a fatal accident occurred today involving a worker at the Legacy Union construction site. We are gathering information on exactly what happened and have no details to share at this time. We are working closely with authorities who can provide you with more details as they become available. We extend our deepest condolences to all of those affected."

The company's website states that 90 percent of their projects in 2016 and 2017 had no injuries. Their fall protection rules have saved 27 lives since 2010, the company claims. 

RELATED: Construction worker dies after falling 19 stories from uptown construction site

FOX 46 has learned that the victim, 24-year-old Juvenito Mata-Hernandez, was not a Gilbane employee, but was working on the project. The site, located at 620 S. Tryon Street, is right across from the Duke Energy building and was bustling with people at the time of the incident.

OSHA is now investigating whether or not Mata-Hernandez was trained and wearing the proper equipment and if fall protection standards were followed. 

FOX 46 reached out to city and county officials if they look at the history of companies before granting them a project. We are still awaiting a response. 

There are currently 25 high rise projects underway in Charlotte, according to Mecklenburg County.

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