A Wilmington, Massachusetts masonry contractor agreed to pay $134,000 in fines as part of a settlement agreement with the United States Department of Labor (DOL) for purportedly serious and willful violations of workplace safety standards. The company also agreed to take additional steps to protect its workers from fall hazards. In January 2011, NER Construction Management Inc. was cited by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), an arm of the DOL, for a number of safety hazards at Boston’s Rowes Wharf. One of those hazards included a failure to take proper protective measures to keep employees from falling as far as 17 feet.
OSHA’s Braintree Area Office initially proposed to fine the building restoration and masonry contractor $235,500 for three willful, six serious, and two other-than-serious workplace safety violations. A willful violation is issued when an employer shows intentional disregard for workplace safety laws. A serious violation is issued when an employer knew or should have known a dangerous condition which was likely to result in death or serious harm to an employee existed. An other-than-serious violation is one which relates to employee safety, but is unlikely to result in serious injury or death.
As part of the settlement agreement, NER Construction was required to correct all of the safety hazards at the Wharf identified by OSHA and increase overall employee safety at each of the company’s work sites. NER Construction has agreed to perform a comprehensive safety analysis for each job, determine reasonable fall protections, and provide additional employee safety training. The company is also required to submit to OSHA a monthly report regarding safety measures utilized at all of its work sites during the next year and also provide copies of any outside safety audits performed over the next two years.
According to OSHA’s New England Regional Administrator, Marthe Kent, the goal behind issuing OSHA citations is to not only correct each individual safety violation, but also to encourage companies to increase overall workplace safety in the future. Michael Felsen, the DOL’s New England Regional Solicitor, agrees. He said that the settlement with NER has laid a foundation for future workplace safety for the company’s workers.
In Massachusetts, the Workers’ Compensation Act generally provides the only avenue of recovery for employees injured at work. If you were injured in a workplace accident, an experienced MassachusettsOSHA and workplace rights violation lawyer can help you file your case and protect your financial security.
At Pulgini & Norton, LLP, our knowledgeable Boston workers’ compensation attorneys understand the questions and uncertainty that can accompany a workplace injury. We will help you file your workers’ compensation claim, gather required medical documentation, and negotiate on your behalf with insurance companies. Our firm assists injured clients throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Call Pulgini & Norton today at (888) 344-2046 to discuss your injury and learn more about workers’ compensation laws. You may also contact us through our website.