General Contractor Fined in Worker’s Death
A Stoughton, Massachusetts general contractor was fined more than $142,000 after a federal investigation determined that an employee’s death was preventable.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that LMA Services Company had not thoroughly followed safety regulations, nor properly train workers to safely operate heavy equipment at a work site in Brockton.
OSHA said employees were exposed to various hazards while doing excavation work on a new Brockton Hospital building.
The worker died after being struck by a compact track loader while working under the loader’s bucket, and pinned between the ground and the bucket.
OSHA investigators said the loader’s bucket was elevated, and loading and unloading crushed stone on uneven ground.
OSHA also said that when they served subpoenas for managers to testify and to retrieve documents, the employer delayed providing any illness and injury records.
Employers must provide this information within four hours of an OSHA request.
OSHA issued a willful citation against LMA Services Company for failing to protect employees by lacking adequate training and protocols to handle worker safety.
The citation specifically mentioned that employees should have been trained to follow manufacturer safety warnings and to be aware of workplace hazards.
“LMA Services Company’s safety failures led to the loss of a worker’s life, a tragedy that could have been prevented if proper procedures were followed,” said OSHA area director James Mulligan.
The citation also noted that LMA should have established a safety plan specific to the Brockton site.
OSHA issued a second citation for the company’s failure to provide requested logs on time.
Overall, OSHA assessed $142,642 in proposed penalties for the incident.
“Federal law requires employers to identify hazards that can cause harm and make corrections to ensure workers’ safety and health,” said Mulligan.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 484 workers died after being hit by an object or equipment in the workplace in 2022.
Approximately 75 percent of struck-by fatalities involve heavy equipment such as trucks or cranes.
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