Region 1 News Release: BOS 2001-148
Oct. 18, 2001
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
FALL HAZARDS AT BRIDGE PROJECT PROMPT OSHA CITATIONS
BOSTON -- Failure to protect workers from fall hazards on a Merrimack Valley bridge reconstruction project have resulted in $60,300 in proposed fines against a Brockton, Mass., contractor by the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Algar Corp., a construction subcontractor on the River Road Bridge Replacement project in Andover, Mass., has been cited by OSHA for alleged willful, repeat, serious and other violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
The company employs 112 workers, four of whom were working in Andover. OSHA's inspection found two Algar employees working on an abutment more than six feet above the ground without fall protection, such as guardrails, safety nets or personal fall arrest systems.
"These workers had not been trained to use fall protection nor even to recognize fall hazards," said Richard Fazio, OSHA's area director for Middlesex and Essex counties. "The employer knew fall protection was required, yet apparently chose to ignore this vital safeguard."
OSHA proposed a $49,500 fine against Algar Corp. for an alleged willful violation for failing to supply fall protection. The agency defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.
The company was also cited for three alleged serious violations, with $6,000 in proposed fines, for failing to train employees to recognize and minimize fall hazards; failing to provide safe access to the abutment; and allowing an employee to use a power saw with a broken guard. A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.
A $4,000 fine was proposed for an alleged repeat violation for failing to ensure that an employee wore face protection while cutting rebar. OSHA cited Algar Corp. for a similar violation in June 1999, at a Wilmington, Mass., jobsite. Two alleged other-than-serious violations were for failing to properly maintain illness and injury logs and record injury data. An $800 fine was proposed.
Algar Corp. has 15 working days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to either elect to comply with them, to request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
The information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (617) 565-2072. TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) Message Referral Phone: 800-347-8029.