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Region 1 News Release: 10-93-BOS/BOS 2010-048
Wed., Jan. 27, 2010
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074

Methuen, Mass., contractor faces nearly $167,000 in US Labor Department OSHA fines for cave-in hazards at Quincy and Lynnfield, Mass., worksites

BOSTON, Mass. - Trenching safety hazards at two Massachusetts worksites have led to $166,950 in proposed fines for a Methuen, Mass., contractor. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited L. Perrina Construction Co. Inc. for a total of 23 alleged willful, serious and other-than-serious violations of safety standards following inspections at worksites in Quincy and Lynnfield, where the company was installing water mains.

OSHA found that employees at both locations were exposed to cave-in hazards while working in trenches more than 6 feet deep that were not protected against the collapse of their sidewalls, exposed to struck-by hazards from material stored at a trench's edge in Quincy and an undermined sidewalk in Lynnfield, and were not trained to recognize and avoid such hazards at either location. The Quincy trench also lacked a safe means of exit.

Additional hazards included damaged, inadequate or misused access ladders, a lack of inspections and safety training, electrical hazards, improper storage of flammables and incomplete recording of injuries and illnesses in Quincy. They also included damaged lifting slings, electrical hazards, no backup alarm on an earth mover and a lack of jobsite safety inspections in Lynnfield.

"An unguarded excavation is a tomb in waiting. Its walls can collapse in moments, crushing and burying workers beneath tons of soil before they have a chance to react or escape," said Paul Mangiafico, OSHA's area director for Middlesex and Essex counties.

"This deadly hazard is exacerb