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OSHA News Release – Region 1
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 1 BOS 2003-090
May 12, 2003
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
in OSHA Penalties for Peabody, Mass., Contractor
METHUEN, Mass. -- A Peabody, Mass., construction contractor's failure to safeguard workers against the hazards of high-speed traffic in a highway work zone has resulted in $49,000 in fines from the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Aggregate Industries, based at 55 Russell St. in Peabody, has been cited for one alleged repeat and two alleged serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act following a Nov. 8, 2002, accident at a worksite located at Routes 3 and 128 in Burlington, Mass. Four employees were injured while removing traffic cones and road closure signs when the vehicle they were riding in was struck by passing traffic.
OSHA's inspection found that Aggregate Industries failed to follow its own work zone safety plan that spelled out how to safely remove the cones and signs and did not train the workers in highway work zone safety. The company also failed to equip the truck platform from which the employees were working with seats and seat belts.
"The necessary procedures to ensure that drivers knew these workers were on the road and could proceed with caution around them were not followed in this case," said Richard Fazzio, OSHA area director. "The result was just the type of accident these safeguards are designed to prevent."
As a result, OSHA has cited Aggregate Industries for two alleged serious violations, with $14,000 in proposed fines, for failing to follow the work zone safety plan and the lack of seats and seat belts. OSHA defines a serious violation as one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazardous condition about which the employer knew or should have known.
A fine of $35,000 is proposed for an alleged repeat violation for failing to train employees. OSHA issues repeat citations when an employer has previously been cited for substantially similar violations and those citations have become final.
Aggregate Industries had previously been cited for a similar hazard in March 2001, following an inspection at an Acton, Mass. worksite.
Aggregate Industries has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to either elect to comply with them, 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 inspection was conducted by OSHA's Methuen 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 www.osha.gov.
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.
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