Tues., June 10, 2008
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
CONCORD, N.H. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited two Massachusetts contractors for alleged violations of safety standards at a Concord construction site and proposed combined penalties totaling $120,200.
OSHA's inspection of a McDonald's restaurant construction site at 117 Loudon Road found employees of Shawnlee Construction, a Plainville, Mass., roofing contractor, exposed to fall hazards. Employees of James T. Lynch Contractors Inc., a Reading, Mass., excavation contractor, were found to be exposed to cave-in hazards. Shawnlee faces a total of $96,500 in proposed fines and Lynch a total of $23,700.
"These are two of the deadliest, yet most preventable, hazards in construction work," said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA's area director in Concord. "Failing to ensure that the proper safeguards are in place and in use needlessly exposes employees to death or serious injuries from falls or being buried in a cave-in."
Specifically, Shawnlee employees were found to be working atop 15-foot high trusses without fall protection and were not adequately trained in anchoring their fall protection lifelines. These conditions resulted in two repeat citations, carrying $82,500 in proposed fines. OSHA had cited Shawnlee in 2005, 2006 and 2007 for similar conditions at worksites in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Shawnlee also has been issued two serious citations, with $12,000 in fines, for lack of eye protection for employees using nail guns and improper use of fall protection harnesses and lanyards. Two other-than-serious citations, with $2,000 in fines, were issued for the company's failure to maintain and provide the illness and injury log in a timely manner.
Employees of James T. Lynch Contractors were observed working in a 7-foot deep excavation that lacked adequate protection against a collapse of its sidewalls. This finding has resulted in one willful citation, carrying a $21,000 fine. Lynch also has been issued three serious citations, with $2,700 in fines, for an access ladder of insufficient height and for lack of a hazard communication program and training for its employees.
OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health. A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. An other-than-serious violation is a hazardous condition that would probably not cause death or serious physical harm but would have an immediate relationship to the safety and health of employees.
Each company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to meet with OSHA or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. This inspection was conducted by OSHA's Concord Area Office; telephone 603-225-1629.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.