Settlement with Massachusetts contractor seeks to honor memory of workers
Posted January 13, 2016
On January 11, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced an agreement with a Massachusetts electrical contractor committing the company to an extensive corrective action to prevent future deaths and injuries and establish a training fund in the memory of two men who were killed when a crane toppled at a worksite on April 12, 2014.
According to the DOL, the two men were working atop a personnel platform raised on truck-mounted crane when the crane overturned and fell approximately 140 feet with both men harnessed to it, killing both men.
The agency reports that OSHA cited the company for, among other things, not training employees properly or evaluating their ability to operate the crane properly. The company also allegedly failed to follow the manufacturer’s procedures for safely operating the crane. The company contested the citations initially but has now reached a settlement with the agency.
Under the terms of the settlement, the company agrees to the repeat violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act for failing to comply with the manufacturer’s instructions for safely operating the crane and for failing to ensure that operators were properly evaluated or trained, and to a number of other serious violations. The company will pay an amended penalty of $136,000.
In addition to the violations and monetary penalties, the company also agrees to perform a number of corrective actions designed to prevent future accidents, including extensive certification and training for management and employees on crane and aerial lift operations and safety standards, committing both to regular internal and independent safety audits, developing an in- house safety committee, requiring field managers to be journeymen linemen on worksites where linemen work, and providing regular notification to OSHA of utility work projects.
According to the DOL, a unique aspect of the settlement is the requirement for the company to establish an endowment fund in the names of the two men to provide scholarships to workers interested in obtaining training and education in the fields of line construction project management and safety. The company will provide at least $3,000 in annual contributions to the fund for the next 10 years and at least $5,000 in annual contributions for the succeeding decade.
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