DOL Cites Contractors for Demolition, Asbestos Hazards
OSHA sent a significant and expensive message to Boston-based contractors for failing to properly supervise demolition and asbestos abatement operations.
The incident happened in May, 2022, when an employee of a demolition contractor lost his legs after a concrete mezzanine platform collapsed during demolition and asbestos abatement operations.
Two other workers were injured.
The primary employer, NorthStar Contracting Group, and the Boston-based general contractor were fined a total of $691,000.
The lack of basic preventative measures such as appropriately training employees, necessary engineering assessments before starting work, and the failure to properly remove dangerous material were some of the more glaring shortcomings emphasized in the OSHA citation.
OSHA issued citations to NorthStar Contracting for three willful violations, four serious violations, and one other-than-serious violation of workplace safety standards.
The agency proposed $399,864 in penalties to NorthStar alone.
OSHA found NorthStar failed to conduct a full engineering survey to review the conditions during demolition, ensure a designated person performed or supervised required duties in the asbestos containment area, and post the safe weight load limit in a clear and visible way.
Investigators also said employees were not adequately trained to recognize a number of hazards that relate to collapse and asbestos containment.
In addition, officials said the company did not provide OSHA 300 logs to investigators within four business hours.
OSHA also issued two willful and three serious citations to Suffolk Construction and proposed $292,116 in penalties for the company’s failures.
That includes inspecting the contractor’s work in the asbestos regulated containment area to ensure compliance, and ensuring employees were wearing protective respirators inside the containment area.
Investigators said the company did not have a plan in place to prevent an unplanned collapse of the mezzanine or post the safe weight load limit in a clear and visible way.
These events truly underscore the need for contractors and general contractors to be on the same page since both can be held responsible for resulting injuries.
For more information, contact CBIA’s Phillip Montgomery (860.244.1982).
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