Region 1 News Release: 11-713-BOS/BOS 2011-178
May 16, 2011
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
US Labor Department's OSHA cites South Easton, Mass.,
contractor for fall, other hazards at Lowell, Mass., job site
ANDOVER, Mass. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Folan Waterproofing and Construction Co. Inc. for nine serous violations of workplace safety standards at a Lowell work site, where employees faced falls of up to 40 feet due to a lack of required fall protection and inadequate safeguards when working on aerial lifts, among other hazards. The South Easton contractor faces a total of $48,510 in proposed fines.
In December 2010, an OSHA inspector observed a Folan employee climbing out of an elevated aerial lift to access the roof of Immaculate Conception Church, located at 144 E. Merrimack St.
OSHA immediately opened an inspection and found that the workers lacked adequate fall protection while working in and exiting the aerial lift; a defective wire rope used to lift construction materials had not been inspected and removed from service; and the crane had not been inspected annually for defects. Additionally, employees had not been trained to recognize and address aerial lift hazards, were exposed to electric hazards from ungrounded electrical equipment and lacked helmets to protect against falling objects.
A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
"Left uncorrected, these conditions exposed workers to falls of up to 40 feet, electrocution and being struck by a falling load," said Jeffrey A. Erskine, OSHA's area director in Andover. "While it is fortunate that none of these employees was injured or killed, workplace safety should never be a matter of fortune, good or bad. Ensuring the safety of workers means ensuring that proper and effective equipment and work practices are in place and in use every day at every job site."
Folan Waterproofing and Construction Co. Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Andover Area Office; telephone 978-837-4460. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.