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Region 1 BOS 2003-074
April 23, 2003
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074

OSHA Cites Weymouth, Mass., Employer in Waltham Tipover Death, Stresses Need for Proper Worker Training to Prevent Similar Deaths

METHUEN, Mass. -- The death of a Massachusetts worker, killed when his truck tipped over while he was working in an aerial lift, could have been prevented if the truck had been properly positioned and the worker trained in its correct operation, according to the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Brite Lite Electrical Co., Inc., of Weymouth, Mass., has been cited for four alleged serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and faces $14,700 in fines following the Nov. 24 death of Dennis O'Neil of Tewksbury, Mass. O'Neill was working in the bucket of an aerial lift, stringing Christmas lights on Waltham Common, when the truck tipped over, causing him to fall to the ground.

OSHA's inspection found that the truck had been positioned on soft soil rather than a solid surface and its outriggers had not been properly deployed to effectively stabilize it, explained Richard Fazzio, OSHA's area director for Middlesex and Essex counties. As a result, OSHA cited the company for failing to ensure the outriggers were placed on a solid surface and that employees were properly trained to do so.

"Trucks with aerial lifts must have their outriggers fully deployed and properly supported," "said Fazzio. "Training employees in the specific requirements and safe work practices for each type of vehicle they work with is the most effective means of preventing tragedies such as this one."

Brite Lite was also cited for three hazards found on a second truck: a broken ladder railing, unlabeled controls and employees exposed to fall hazards while operating an aerial lift due to lack of operating instructions, load labels and documentation of required equipment testing and lack of annual inspections by qualified personnel. OSHA defines a serious violation as one in which there us a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazardous condition about which the employer knew or should have known.

The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Methuen, Mass., area office. The telephone number is (617) 565-8110.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses, and protecting America's workers. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information, visit

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The information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (617) 565-2072. TDD (Telecommunications Device dor the Deaf) Message Referral Phone: 800-347-8029.

Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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