Fires, falls and excess noise in Mass. tunnel (2/25)
February 25, 2011
A Canton, Mass. contractor exposed employees working inside an aqueduct tunnel to a variety of dangers, according to OSHA, which hit Barletta Heavy Divison, Inc. with repeat and serious standards violations carrying a total of $52,500 in proposed fines.
An OSHA inspection found that employees working inside the aqueduct tunnel at the Hultman Aqueduct project in Weston were exposed to excess noise levels and lacked hearing protection. The tunnel also lacked fire extinguishers, and employees were working in close proximity to an exposed energized electrical panel. In addition, employees were exposed to fall hazards of up to 14 feet from a lack of fall protection and from using a ladder that did not extend at least 3 feet above the upper landing service for required stability.
OSHA had cited Barletta in 2008 for similar fall hazards at worksites at Commonwealth Pier and Ashmont Station in Boston. As a result, OSHA has issued the employer two repeat citations with $37,500 in proposed fines for these recurring hazards.
The noise, fire extinguisher and electrical hazards resulted in the issuance of three serious citations with $15,000 in fines.