Construction Accident Leaves Worker Injured, ContractorFined

OSHA cited Modern Continental Construction Co. of Cambridge,\r\nMass., for alleged safety violations at Boston's "Big Dig" project.

OSHA cited Modern Continental Construction Co. of Cambridge, Mass., for alleged safety violations as the result of the agency''s investigation of an accident on Boston''s "Big Dig" project which left a worker seriously injured.

The agency is proposing penalties for the alleged violations totaling $49,000.

OSHA investigated an accident on the Central Artery project that occurred on July 22, when a shoring system angle iron cross brace slipped from a bundle being lifted out of a construction pit by a crane and impaled a worker through his skull.

"This was a tragic accident which simply did not have to happen," said Brenda Gordon, OSHA''s area director for Boston and Southeastern Massachusetts. "Our investigation found that the employees on this job were not adequately trained in proper rigging methods, and, needless to say, employees should be kept clear of suspended loads."

Gordon noted that employees being struck by moving materials or vehicles is one of the four leading causes of deaths in construction in the United States, accounting for 208 fatalities nationally in 1998, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Specifically, Modern Continental is being cited for the following violations:

  • failing to adequately train employees in proper rigging methods in order to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions; and failing to inspect the rigging equipment for material handling to ensure that it was safe prior to and during its use; and
  • failing to keep employees clear of suspended loads.

The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to either elect to comply with them or contest them.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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