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Region 2 News Release: 12-463-NEW/BOS 2012-046
March 23, 2012
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2075
Email: fitzgerald.edmund@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA cites East Side Access Tunnel
Project contractor after runaway rail car injures 2 workers

NEW YORK – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Dragados USA-Judlau JV, general contractor for the East Side Tunnel Access Project between Queens and Manhattan, with 11 alleged serious violations of workplace safety standards. OSHA's Manhattan Area Office opened an inspection following an Oct. 15 incident in which a runaway rail car struck an aerial lift in the tunnel, injuring two workers in the lift.

OSHA found that the wheels of the rail car had not been chocked, and a safety chain had not been attached to prevent the car from rolling away while it was being disconnected from the rest of the train. As a result of those conditions, employees working farther down the track were exposed to being struck by the runaway car. The workers in the aerial lift lacked a radio or watch person to warn them of the runaway rail car approaching them, and the rail car lacked lights that would have alerted workers in the tunnel of its approach. In addition, the employer did not conduct inspections to ensure that proper safety procedures were followed to prevent a runaway rail car.

"Underground construction is essential but dangerous work. It's also essential that effective worker safeguards are in place and in use at all times. That was not the case here," said Kay Gee, OSHA's area director in Manhattan. "This incident would have been avoided if the employer had followed proper safety procedures, inspected for and corrected deficiencies, and provided adequate training to employees."

The inspection identified additional hazards involving unsecured compresse