An OSHA investigation opened after a construction fatality has resulted in $212,396 in proposed penalties against the worker’s employer.
The incident that prompted the inquiry occurred when a 2,600-pound rock dislodged from the building’s foundation and fatally struck a worker who was helping install permanent foundation supports beneath the Woburn Public Library in Woburn, Massachusetts.
In the wake of the fatality, OSHA has cited Schnabel Foundation Company for failing to protect employees against crushing hazards and for failing to instruct employees to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions while working beneath the foundation. OSHA cited the company for similar hazards in 2015 when an employee was pinned by a granite block that came loose.
“Failure to supply proper safeguards and training has led to a needless and avoidable death,” said OSHA Andover Area Office Director Anthony Covello. “It is imperative that employers train their employees, and equip them with the necessary tools to prevent crushing and other hazards.”
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to accept the findings, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.