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OSHA Regional News Brief
Region 1

Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.


July 14, 2016 BOS 2016-112


Andover contractor exposes employees to cave-in hazards in Stoneham
James T. Lynch Construction Co. Inc. faces $65K in OSHA penalties

Employer name: James T. Lynch Construction Co. Inc.,
77 Lowell Junction Road, Andover, Massachusetts, a water and sewer line contractor.

Inspection site: Stoneham Crossing Apartments construction site, 225 Fallon Road, Stoneham

Investigation findings: On May 11, 2016, inspectors from the Andover Area Office of the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration observed employees of James T. Lynch Construction, water and sewer line contractor, working in a trench more than 6-feet deep that was not properly shored or otherwise protected against collapse. In addition, there was no ladder inside the trench to allow safe entry and exit by employees. The contractor also failed to contact Dig Safe, a not-for-profit clearinghouse that notifies participating utility companies of plans to dig prior to digging the trench. As a result of these conditions, OSHA cited James T. Lynch Construction for one willful and two serious violations of workplace safety standards.

Proposed penalties: $65,800

QUOTE: "James T. Lynch Construction needlessly exposed its employees to a potentially fatal hazard. The walls of an unprotected trench can collapse suddenly and with great force, crushing and burying workers beneath tons of soil before they have the chance to react or escape. This employer knows that trenches five feet or deeper must be protected against collapse but did not slope the soil at a shallow angle, shore up the trench's sidewalls or otherwise protect against a cave-in," said Anthony Covello, OSHA's area director for Middlesex and Essex counties.

View the citations:

James T. Lynch Construction Co. Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or OSHA's Andover Area Office at 978-837-4460.

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Media Contact:

Ted Fitzgerald, 617-565-2075,
James C. Lally, 617-565-2074,

Release Number: 16-1419-BOS

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