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Region 1 News Release:   BOS 2000-002
Monday, January 3, 2000
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
PHONE :(617) 565-2074

OSHA CITES TWO CONTRACTORS FOR ALLEGED WILLFUL AND SERIOUS SAFETY VIOLATIONS AT NORTH CONWAY, NEW HAMPSHIRE, WORKSITE; OVER $76,000 IN TOTAL PENALTIES PROPOSED

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the U.S. Labor Department has cited two construction contractors - Alvin J. Coleman & Son, Inc., of Conway, New Hampshire, and Hardscapes, Inc., of Portland, Maine - for alleged Willful and Serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act at a North Conway, NH, worksite. OSHA has proposed combined penalties against the two contractors totaling $76,500.

According to David May, OSHA area director for New Hampshire, the alleged violations were discovered during an inspection initiated September 13, 1999 at a supermarket construction site located on Route 302 in North Conway. On that day, a Coleman & Son employee was injured when he became caught between the rotating superstructure of an excavator and an adjacent embankment. Alvin J. Coleman & Son, Inc., was the general contractor for sitework on the project while Hardscapes, Inc. was the subcontractor building a masonry wall at the rear of the site.

"The inspection found that Coleman & Son employees were exposed to the hazard of being caught and crushed between the rotating body of the excavator and an adjacent embankment and also had not been trained to recognize such a hazard," said May. "In addition, the embankment itself had not been shored or sloped at a shallow angle to eliminate the hazard of a possible collapse."

The inspection also found that employees of both contractors were exposed to potential falls of up to 19 feet to the ground from the top surface of the masonry wall that was under construction at the time of the inspection. As a result, both Coleman & Son and Hardscapes, Inc. are being cited for allegedly failing to provide fall protection and fall protection training for their respective employees.

"One of the most important tools employees can bring onto a jobsite is the ability to spot and avoid hazards associated with the work they perform," said May. "That's why training, combined with safe work practices and equipment, is key to preventing on-the-job injuries."

Specifically, the citations and proposed penalties against each company is as follows:

Alvin J. Coleman & Son, Inc.Total Proposed Penalties: $68,000

One alleged Willful violation, with a proposed penalty of $56,000 for:

  • failure to provide fall protection for employees constructing a masonry wall.

Four alleged Serious violations, with $12,000 in proposed penalties, for

  • failure to provide a place of employment free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm to workers in that employees were exposed to the hazard of being caught between the rotating superstructure of an excavator and an earthen embankment; failure to train employees in the hazards posed by rotating equipment and clearances between equipment and solid objects;
  • failure to develop a fall protection training program and to provide such training to exposed employees;
    • failure to properly slope or shore earthen embankments against possible collapse;
    • nonfunctioning backup alarm on a truck.

Hardscapes, Inc.Total Proposed Penalties: $8,500

One alleged Willful violation, with a $7,000 proposed penalty, for:

  • failure to provide fall protection for employees constructing a masonry wall.

One alleged Serious violation, with a proposed fine of $1,500, for:

  • failure to develop a fall protection training program and provide such training to exposed employees.

May urged Granite State employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards to contact the OSHA area office in Concord and added that OSHA's toll-free, nationwide hotline --1-800-321-OSHA (1-800-321-6742)-- may be used to report workplace accidents or fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, especially if they occur outside of normal business hours.

A willful violation is defined by OSHA as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations. A serious violation is defined as 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.

OSHA is empowered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 to issue standards and rules requiring employers to provide their employees with safe and healthful workplaces and jobsites, and to assure through workplace inspections that those standards are followed.

Each company has 15 working 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.

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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 for 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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