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OSHA News Release
Region 1

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Region 1 News Release: 06-950-BOS/BOS 2006-147
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074

Three Massachusetts Contractors Fined $154,200 for Hazards at Haverhill Bridge Project

METHUEN, Mass. -- Three Massachusetts contractors face a total of $154,200 in penalties from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for fall, drowning, crushing and other hazards at a Haverhill, Mass., bridge construction site.

Cited were J.F. White Contracting Inc., of Framingham, Mass.; Aztec Steel Inc., of Carver, Mass.; and Trevi Icos Corp., of Boston. All three are working on the construction of a new Upper County Bridge over the Merrimack River. The citations resulted from an OSHA inspection begun last November in response to a complaint.

"Among other hazards, employees were exposed to falls of up to 30 feet from an unguarded walkway. Those working on barges, the bridge and near the river faced drowning hazards from the absence of life vests and an available lifesaving skiff, while workers risked being struck by a rotating crane whose swing radius had not been blocked," said Francis Pagliuca, OSHA's area director for Middlesex and Essex Counties, Mass.

J.F. White Contracting Inc. faces a total of $114,500 in penalties. The company was issued four repeat citations for the fall, drowning and crane hazards, and 10 serious citations for obstructed cofferdam egress; no warning signals, evacuation plan or second means of exit for employees working in the cofferdam; defects in lifting slings and hooks; guardrail deficiencies; oxygen and acetylene gas cylinders stored together; unguarded deck holes; and an unlabeled electrical panel.

Aztec Steel Inc. was issued one repeat citation for unguarded floor holes and seven serious citations for fall, drowning, guardrail, cofferdam and debris hazards. It faces $22,200 in penalties. Trevi Icos Corp. faces $17,500 in penalties and was issued four serious citations for an unavailable lifesaving skiff, unguarded floor holes, unguarded crane swing radius and no warning signal or evacuation plans for employees working in the cofferdam.

A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm are likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. OSHA issues a repeat citation when an employer has previously been cited for substantially similar hazards and those citations have become final. OSHA cited J.F. White Contracting Inc. in April 2005 for similar hazards at this job site while Aztec Steel Inc. was cited in April 2005 for a similar hazard at a Boston work site.

Each company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations 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 investigation was conducted by OSHA's Methuen, Mass., area office, telephone (617) 565-8110.

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