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OSHA News Release
Region 1

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Region 1 News Release: 11-1558-BOS/BOS 2011-367
Nov. 1, 2011
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074


US Labor Department's OSHA cites Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad
for workplace safety hazards at Somerville maintenance facility
Proposed fines total $130,800

ANDOVER, Mass. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co. LLC for 22 alleged serious violations of workplace safety and health standards at its Somerville maintenance facility, located at 70 Rear Third Ave. Proposed fines total $130,800.

OSHA safety and health inspections, conducted between April and October, found employees in the facility's diesel, carpentry, truck, pipe and coach shops exposed to potential electric shocks, electrocution, fires, falls, chemical burns, lacerations, amputations and bloodborne pathogens, as well as to injuries from crushing, slipping and tripping hazards.

"The sizable fines proposed here reflect the number and breadth of hazardous conditions found at this facility," said Jeffrey A. Erskine, OSHA's area director for Middlesex and Essex counties. "While some violations were corrected during the course of the inspection, the railroad must correct all hazards and take effective steps to prevent their recurrence."

Specifically, OSHA found unqualified employees working on energized electrical equipment without proper personal protective equipment, such as fire-resistant clothing and voltage-rated tools. Additionally, the company was cited for exposed electrical circuits; misused power cords; the failure to lock out electrical power sources during maintenance; improper and unsecured storage of oxygen and acetylene cylinders; blockage of an emergency exit by a storage cabinet for flammables; employees allowed to dispense and dilute corrosive chemicals without face shields, hand protection and protective clothing; unguarded saw blades; unlabeled containers of hazardous chemicals; and the failure to offer the hepatitis B vaccination to employees potentially exposed to bloodborne pathogens while cleaning passenger cars. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The safety and health citations can be viewed at:* and*.

The railroad has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the findings to the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report 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 the agency's Andover Area Office at 978-837-4460.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit

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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.

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