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Lynnway Auto Auction Settles After Multiple Fatalities

Company must pay $200,000 in penalties.

In May 2017, five people were fatally struck and killed during an auction at Lynnway Auto Auction in North Billerica, Mass.

Now, the U.S. Department of Labor is requiring the company as well as a temporary employment agency that supplied workers to Lynnway to pay penalties and make major revisions to their safety practices.

“The settlement commits Lynnway to correct existing hazards, and requires it to take continuous action to help prevent future employee injuries or fatalities,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Galen Blanton, in a statement.

Shortly after the incident, OSHA investigators found 16 safety and health violations. In order to fix these, Lynnway Auto Auction has agreed to designate and mark non-driving locations, walkways, and crosswalks; install barriers in the auto auction area; establish and enforce speed limits and a safe driving program; periodically evaluate employees’ driving capabilities and licenses; provide employee training and review all vehicle accidents or near-misses, according to the agency.

The company must also pay $200,000 in fines. However, Lynnway was not the only employer charged.

TrueBlue Inc., doing business as PeopleReady, supplied temporary employees to work auctions. The company also agreed to correct hazards, implement a traffic control program and pay a $12,675 penalty. OSHA cited the staffing firm for exposing employees to struck-by hazards.

“The processes put into place by this agreement have the goal of ensuring that such needless loss of lives will not occur again,” said Regional Solicitor of Labor Michael Felsen.

The settlement became a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission on April 5, and the TrueBlue settlement agreement became final on March 5. 

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