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Region 1 News Release: BOS 2002-028
Feb. 28, 2002
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
Lack Of Cave-In Protection At Dorchester Jobsite
Leads To Fines Against Franklin, Mass. Contractor
BOSTON -- Continued failure to supply cave-in protection for its workers has resulted in $62,000 in proposed fines against a Franklin, Mass., contractor.
Zenone, Inc. has been cited by the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for alleged willful and serious safety violations at a water/sewer line installation site located at Westville and Draper Streets in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood.
"OSHA's inspection found two employees working in an excavation up to seven feet deep that was not shored or otherwise protected against a collapse of its sidewalls," said Brenda Gordon, OSHA area director for Boston and Southeastern Massachusetts. "Had a cave-in occurred, workers in this trench could have been struck and buried beneath tons of soil before they had a chance to react or escape."
This marks the fifth time in three years that Zenone, Inc. has been cited by OSHA for inadequate cave-in protection. The contractor had previously been cited in 1999, 2000 and 2001 following inspections at jobsites in Lynn and New Bedford, Mass.
As a result, OSHA has classified this citation as willful, its most severe category of violation, and proposed a fine of $56,000. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.
Zenone, Inc. was also cited for two alleged serious violations, with $6,000 in proposed penalties, for allowing employees to access the trench without a ladder and for operating an excavator within 10 feet of energized power lines. A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.
The contractor 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 Braintree, Mass., area office. The telephone number is (617) 565-6924.
The information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (617) 565-2072. TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) Message Referral Phone: 800-347-8029.
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