Keene, NH, contractor cited in fatal fall at school construction site agrees to
correct hazards, expand worker training after US Labor Department actions
CONCORD, N.H. – The MacMillin Co. Inc., a Keene, N.H.-based contractor, has reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Labor in connection with the September 2011 death of a worker at the Keene Middle School construction site. In reaching the settlement, the contractor agrees to correct all hazards cited by the department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, expand safety training and pay a $100,000 fine.
On Sept. 16, 2011, temporary employees working under the direction of The MacMillin Co. were erecting scaffolding at the Keene Middle School when the plank upon which the victim was working snapped. This resulted in the victim's death after he fell 27 feet to the concrete floor below. OSHA's Concord Area Office cited the company in March 2012 for failing to inspect the scaffold for defects, adequately train the employees in scaffold erection and inspection and determine the feasibility of or ensure the use of fall protection for the workers during the scaffold erection. The company initially contested its citations, but has now agreed to settle the case.
In addition to correcting the cited conditions and paying the fine, The MacMillin Co. will now provide the same level of training to its temporary workers as it does to its permanent staff and it will sponsor presentations to provide fall protection training for those erecting and dismantling scaffolding.
"While no settlement can restore a life, this agreement commits this employer to taking additional actions to help prevent a similar incident from occurring in the future," said Michael Felsen, the New England regional Solicitor of Labor, whose office negotiated the settlement.
"The message cannot be repeated enough: Effective training and adherence to safety standards are critical to protecting workers against deadly or disabling injuries," said Marthe Kent, OSHA's New England regional administrator. "But they are effective only if they are followed every day at every work site for every worker."
In April, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announced a campaign to provide employers and workers with lifesaving information and educational materials about working safely from ladders, scaffolds and roofs in an effort to prevent deadly falls in the construction industry. More information is available at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls.
Senior trial attorney Constance Franklin litigated the case on behalf of the department.
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 Concord office at 603-225-1629.
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 http://www.osha.gov.
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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.