Woburn Public Library
Woburn Public Library

Worker Crushed to Death, OSHA Cites Schnabel Foundation Co.

Jan. 16, 2018
A July worker fatality triggered an OSHA inspection that resulted in citations and fines for construction company.

On July 11, 2017, OSHA opened an inspection after learning that a 2,600-pound rock dislodged from the foundation of the historic Woburn, Mass., public library and fatally struck an employee of Schnabel foundation Co.

OSHA has cited Schnabel Foundation Co. for failing to protect employees against crushing hazards while they installed permanent foundation supports beneath the Woburn Public Library. The company faces $212,396 in proposed penalties.

“Failure to supply proper safeguards and training has led to a needless and avoidable death,” said OSHA Andover Area Office Director Anthony Covello. “It is imperative that employers train their employees, and equip them with the necessary tools to prevent crushing and other hazards.”

The contractor also was cited for failing to instruct employees to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions while working beneath the foundation. OSHA previously cited the company for similar hazards in 2015 when an employee was pinned by a granite block that came loose.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to accept the findings, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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