Recent OSHA Region 1 Enforcement Actions

HR & Safety

On Jan. 15, 2016, OSHA’s Hartford Area Office cited the Lake Compounce Family Theme Park in Bristol for 18 serious violations of workplace safety standards.
Lake Compounce is the sister company of Palace Entertainment Holdings LLC in Newport Beach, California.
Roller Coaster at Lake CompounceThe theme park exposed employees spraying coatings on park equipment and working with caustic chemicals in the park’s paint room to chemical, burn, and respirator hazards.
These hazards included failure to:

  • Monitor workers’ exposure to hexavalent chromium and methylene chloride, both hazardous chemicals
  • Train employees about hazardous chemicals
  • Complete a hazard assessment for protective equipment needed by workers
  • Provide required eye- and hand-washing facilities for employees working with chemicals
  • Fit-test and determine employees’ ability to wear respirators and provide them with respirator training
  • Ground electrical equipment properly
  • Keep spark-producing tools out of a flammable spray booth
  • Dispose of flammable waste properly
  • Prevent flammable spraying when a ventilation system is inactive

OSHA has proposed penalties of $70,200.
“These conditions exposed Lake Compounce Family Theme Park employees to serious burn, fire, chemical burn, electric shock and eye, face and hand injuries,” says Warren Simpson, OSHA’s area director in Hartford.
“The employer must act promptly to effectively eliminate these hazards before they injure its employees.”
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citation and proposed penalty to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Massachusetts Roofing Contractor Again Exposes Workers to Fall Hazards

A Framingham, Massachusetts, contractor with a history of safety violations has again exposed its employees to potentially fatal fall hazards at one of its worksites, this time in Woburn.
OSHA inspectors found that employees of A S General Construction Inc. risked falls of more than 26 feet from an unguarded roof and an improperly constructed and erected ladder-jack scaffold at the job site.
“The danger to these employees was real and present and known to this employer,” says Anthony Covello, OSHA’s area director for Essex and Middlesex counties in Massachusetts.
“Not only did A S General Construction not provide required fall protection, it did not train the employees to work safely on scaffolds and had the workers climbing damaged and improperly set up ladders. The result was that these workers were steps or seconds away from deadly or disabling falls.”
Additional hazards found at the Woburn site included lack of safe access to the roof and scaffold, not inspecting the scaffold and its components for defects, failing to remove nails and debris from the work area, and lack of head protection and safety glasses.
A S General Construction has a history of OSHA violations. Several of the violations at the Woburn worksite are similar to those cited by OSHA between 2011 and 2015 at worksites in Dedham, Massachusetts, and Windham, New Hampshire.
As a result, OSHA cited A S General Construction on Jan. 22, 2016, for two willful, seven repeat, and seven serious violations of workplace safety standards at the Woburn site. Proposed penalties for these violations total $188,760.
The company’s latest violations led OSHA to place A S General Construction in the agency’s Severe Violators Enforcement Program, which focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat, or failure-to-abate violations.
Under the program, OSHA may inspect any of the employer’s facilities if it has reasonable grounds to believe there are similar violations.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, meet with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Serial Violator Exposes Employees to Potentially Fatal Fall and Other Hazards

Litchfield, New Hampshire contractor Michael Cahoon, who does business as High & Dry Roofing, knows he must protect his employees against falls and other hazards at his jobsites.
Yet, OSHA has cited him repeatedly for putting workers in danger of deadly and disabling falls, most recently in Manchester.
A complaint of unsafe conditions at a roofing job led OSHA inspectors to find High & Dry Roofing employees working at heights over 20 feet without fall protection and proper ladder safeguards. Two days later, inspectors returned and found the same hazards again.
As a result, OSHA cited Cahoon for two willful violations of workplace safety standards.
OSHA’s inspection also identified four repeated violations for hazards similar to those cited in 2012 following OSHA inspections at High & Dry Roofing worksites in Hampton and North Hampton. These violations include:

  • Failing to provide fall protection for employees working on scaffolds
  • Lack of hard hats and eye protection for workers
  • Failure to guard the operating parts of an air compressor against contact

In addition, OSHA issued four serious citations for the following hazards:

  • Locating scaffolding too close to a live, 240-volt electrical line
  • Inadequate scaffold access
  • Using ladders on scaffold platforms
  • Failing to provide training to workers on fall protection

Proposed penalties total $152,460.
After its latest violations, OSHA has placed High & Dry Roofing in its Severe Violators Enforcement Program.
The program focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat, or failure-to-abate violations.
Under the program, OSHA may inspect any of the employer’s facilities if it has reasonable grounds to believe there are similar violations.

Settlement with Massachusetts Contractor Seeks to Prevent Future Deaths 

A settlement agreement between the U.S. Department of Labor and Mass Bay Electrical Corp. commits the East Boston electrical contractor to extensive corrective action to prevent future deaths and injuries and establishes a training fund in the memory of Joseph Boyd III and John Loughran, who were killed when a crane toppled in Bourne on April 12, 2014.
The two men were working atop a personnel platform raised on a truck-mounted crane when the crane overturned and fell approximately 140 feet with both men harnessed to it, killing both men.
OSHA cited Mass Bay Electrical for, among other things, not training employees properly or evaluating their ability to operate the crane properly. The company also 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 Labor Department.
“The deaths of Joseph Boyd III and John Loughran should never have occurred,” says Kim Stille, OSHA’s New England regional administrator.
“Effective and ongoing training of employees and adherence to the clear safety requirements set forth by the equipment’s manufacturer are critical in preventing fatalities like these from happening again.
“This settlement requires Mass Bay Electrical Corp. to take stringent, detailed, continual, and effective corrective action,”
Under the terms of the settlement, Mass Bay Electrical Corp. agrees to 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, Mass Bay also agrees to perform a number of corrective actions designed to prevent future accidents, including:

  • Conducting extensive certification and training for management and employees on crane and aerial lift operations and safety standards
  • Committing 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
  • Providing regular notification to OSHA of utility work projects

A unique aspect of the settlement is the requirement for Mass Bay Electrical Corp. to establish an endowment fund in the names of Joseph Boyd III and John Loughran 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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