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OSHA News Release
Region 1

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Region 1 News Release: 06-1632-BOS / BOS 2006-268
Monday, October 2, 2006
Contact: John Chavez
Phone: (617) 565-2075

U.S. Labor Department's OSHA Fines Contractor $167,500 for Repeated Fall Hazards at Billerica, Mass., Work Site

METHUEN, Mass. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited a wood-framing contractor for the third time for failing to provide its employees with fall protection at a Billerica, Mass., residential construction site.

Multi Building Inc., based in Lewisville, Texas, was cited for a total of nine alleged violations of workplace safety standards at the Villas at Old Concord residential construction project located at 4 Riverhurst Road in Billerica. In March, the company was cited and fined $77,000 for fall and other hazards at this site.

"This is the third time this employer has been cited for lack of fall protection at this job site and the 12th time nationwide," said Francis Pagliuca, OSHA's area director for Middlesex and Essex counties in Massachusetts. "Falls are the leading killer in construction. Multi Building Inc. knows fall protection is required for workers, yet it continually refuses to supply and ensure this basic, lifesaving and necessary safeguard."

The latest inspection began March 31 when an OSHA inspector delivering the previous set of citations to the work site observed three instances where workers were exposed to falls of up to 38 feet while working on roofs or the top of framing. Adding to these fall hazards was the absence of required access ladders, which forced workers to climb the structural framing to reach their work areas.

These conditions resulted in the issuance of two willful citations carrying $140,000 in proposed fines. A willful violation is one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.

Seven serious citations with $27,500 in fines were issued for failing to train employees in fall protection; fall protection not rigged to prevent falls of more than 6 feet; unguarded wall openings; defective and uninspected ladders; uncovered floor holes; obstructed egress; debris with protruding nails; and an unlabeled gasoline storage tank. 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.

Multi Building Inc. 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.

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 workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit


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