OSHA cites employer – involved in 2021 double fatality in downtown Boston – for new trench violations at East Boston worksite
February 16, 2022
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited the employer involved in a February 2021 double fatality at a downtown Boston worksite and his successor company again for failing to provide employees with essential and required safeguards, this time at an East Boston residential construction site.
Responding to a complaint indicating employees were exposed to excavation hazards while working in a foundation at 18 Crestway Road, OSHA inspectors found employees exposed to cave-in and other potentially life-threatening hazards. Specifically, OSHA determined that Laurence Moloney and his companies did not:
Ensure cave-in protection for each employee working in an excavation.
Provide adequate protection to prevent loose rock or soil from falling into the excavation.
Instruct each employee in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions.
Conduct frequent and regular inspections of the job site to identify and correct hazards.
Ensure stability of adjoining buildings, walls, or other structures endangered by excavation operations.
Ensure that a competent person identified all confined spaces employees were to enter.
Provide adequate helmets to protect employees against impact and penetration by falling and flying objects.
As a result, OSHA has cited Laurence Moloney, doing business as Atlantic Coast Utilities LLC/Advanced Utilities Inc. and Nuala Nichoncubhair, doing business as Sterling Excavation LLC and their successors, for four willful and three serious violations and one other than serious violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Proposed penalties total $624,777. View the citations.
“Less than six months after being cited for egregious willful violations in the deaths of two employees in an excavation, this serial violator again exposed employees to potentially fatal cave-in and struck-by hazards,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Galen Blanton in Boston. “While Laurence Moloney may reincorporate and operate under a variety of names, what is consistent is his pattern of willfully violating safety and health requirements, ignoring OSHA citations and penalties and persistently placing employees in harm’s way.”
In August 2021, OSHA cited Moloney and his companies and proposed $1,350,884 in penalties, for 28 violations following the deaths of two workers in a trench on High Street in downtown Boston. Those citations and penalties are currently being contested. Under various names, including Shannon Construction Corp. and Atlantic Coast Utilities LLC, Moloney and his companies have an extensive history of OSHA trenching and excavation violations dating back almost 20 years. Six previous inspections of his companies resulted in the issuance of 14 willful repeat and serious violations, with $81,242 in penalties, $73,542 of which are unpaid and have been referred to debt collection.
Laurence Moloney, doing business as Atlantic Coast Utilities, LLC/Advanced Utilities Inc., and Nuala Nichoncubhair, doing business as Sterling Excavation, LLC and their successors, have 15 business days from receipt of their citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
The American Society of Safety Engineers is offering a virtual symposium to help occupational safety and health professionals better understand the sweeping changes OSHA recently made to its final rule on Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Fall Protection standards in relation to slip, trip and fall hazards.