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Region 1 News Release: 11-208-BOS/BOS 2011-062
Feb. 28, 2011
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074
E-mail: fitzgerald.edmund@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA cites Canton, Mass., contractor
for failing to provide cave-in protection at Boston jobsite

BRAINTREE, Mass. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Trainor Construction Co. Inc. for alleged willful and serious violations of workplace safety standards at a worksite located at 270 Centre St. in Boston at which the Canton, Mass., contractor was replacing a water main. The company faces a total of $29,000 in proposed fines.

OSHA's inspection found that the 7 to 7-and-one-half foot deep trench in which Trainor Construction employees were working lacked adequate protection against a collapse of its sidewalls.

The agency also determined that the trench lacked shoring or underpinning for an unsupported concrete structure adjacent to the trench, the trench's support system members were not installed properly, and a competent person had not removed the workers from the trench. Finally, the employees lacked reflective vests or high visibility clothes, exposing them to the hazards of being struck by or caught between vehicular traffic.

"An unprotected trench can become a prison or a grave in seconds if its walls cave in on workers," said Brenda Gordon, OSHA's area director for Boston and southeastern Massachusetts. "Employers should never allow employees into a trench until it has been effectively protected against collapse. Workers' lives depend on it."

As a result of its findings, OSHA issued the company one willful citation, with a proposed fine of $14,000, for the unprotected trench and four serious citations, with $15,000 in fines, for the other hazards