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Region 1 News Release: 09-770-BOS / BOS 2009-207
Monday, July 13, 2009
Contact: John Chavez
Phone: 617-565-2075

U.S. Labor Department's OSHA cites Massachusetts contractor following fatal February aerial lift collapse on Boston's West Street

BRAINTREE, Mass. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Reliable Roofing & Sheet Metal LLC of Framingham, Mass., for five alleged serious violations of safety standards in connection with the Feb. 7 tip over of an aerial lift in Boston that injured a Reliable Roofing employee and killed an employee of another roofing contractor.

The two employees were in the elevated basket of a Grove model A125J aerial lift, inspecting a rooftop at 10 West St., when the lift tipped over as it was being lowered. OSHA's inspection found that the lift was unstable due to its being improperly lowered with its upper boom extended; the protective sensors and limit switches that would have stopped its operation when it became unstable were not working properly. The Reliable Roofing employee operating the lift had not been adequately trained in its operation and had not inspected it and fully tested its controls before operating it.

"Adequate training and proper inspection and operating procedures would have identified these defects, stopped this lift from being operated in this condition and prevented this accident and the death and injury that resulted," said Brenda Gordon, OSHA's area director for Boston and southeastern Massachusetts.

OSHA also cited Reliable Roofing for not providing fall protection training for the lift operator and lack of hardhats for its employees working beneath the lift. OSHA issues serious citations when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known.

An OSHA fact sheet highlighting safe aerial lift work practices is available on line at

Reliable Roofing, which faces a total of $31,000 in proposed fines, has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director or contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Boston South Area Office in Braintree; telephone 617-565-6924.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education. For more information, visit


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