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OSHA News Release
Region 1

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Region 1 News Release: 06-1700-BOS / BOS 2006-267
Friday, September 29, 2006
Contact: John Chavez
Phone: (617) 565-2075

U.S. Labor Department's OSHA Cites Contractor for Fatalities in Boston Scaffold Collapse

BOSTON -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Bostonian Masonry for eight alleged violations of safety standards in connection with three fatalities on April 3 during a scaffold collapse at 150 Boylston St. in Boston. The Walpole, Mass., masonry contractor faces $119,000 in proposed fines.

The accident occurred as Bostonian Masonry employees were dismantling a mast-climbing scaffold. This process included removing the anchor braces that secured the scaffold's climbing tower to the building. Once the final anchor brace was removed, the tower and scaffold were without support. The unit then toppled and fell into Boylston Street, killing two workers and one passer-by.

"Once the final bracing was removed, there was nothing to prevent the tower and platform from tipping over. The bracing should not have been removed until an alternate method of stabilizing and supporting the tower was in place," said Marthe Kent, OSHA's New England regional administrator. "Removing the brace and leaving the unit without support violated OSHA standards, industry standards and the scaffold manufacturer's specifications. Failure to follow proper dismantling procedures resulted in this accident and the ensuing deaths and injuries."

OSHA officials issued Bostonian Masonry a willful citation carrying a $70,000 fine, the maximum allowed under law. The willful citation was for the improper removal of the bracing. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.

OSHA issued seven serious citations to the company for failing to construct and load the scaffold's work platform as required; dismantling the platform while it was overloaded; failing to provide workers with the training required to dismantle the platform; failing to provide feasible fall protection and training in hazard recognition to employees dismantling the platform; failing to install guys, ties and braces, as required by the manufacturer; and failing to inspect the work platform that collapsed, as well as other mast-climbing platforms on-site, for defects.

A total of $49,000 in fines is proposed for these citations. OSHA issues a serious citation when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Bostonian Masonry has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director or to contest the citations before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Braintree, Mass., area office at (617) 565-6924.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure 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


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