The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed fining a contractor with a history of safety violations over $1.3M after two workers died at repair site in downtown Boston. According to an investigation by the DOL’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the employees were struck by a dump truck and pushed into a nine-foot trench. OSHA determined that contractor failed to conduct worksite inspections to identify and correct 28 hazards, including the risk of being struck by construction vehicles.
The workplace fatalities are part of a long history of safety and health violations by the contractor and its predecessor companies. Prior to this February 2021 incident, OSHA inspected Atlantic Coast Utilities LLC/Advanced Utilities Inc. and Shannon Construction Corp. six times and cited the companies for a total of 14 violations. The owner ignored the OSHA citations and repeated demands for abatement of the hazards. OSHA assessed over $80,000 in fines but received less than $10,000 in penalties.
“OSHA will use every enforcement and legal tool available to hold scofflaw companies such as this and their owners accountable,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health James Frederick. “When you fail to train your employees properly,” added OSHA Acting Regional Administrator Jeffrey Erskine, “you deny them the most valuable tool they can have, knowledge . . . to do their work correctly and safety . . . and knowledge of how to identify and eliminate those hazards”.