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MA Company Cited by OSHA after Crane Comes in Contact with Power Line and Injures Worker

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A Canton-based heavy equipment operator has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for alleged willful and serious violations of safety standards while working to replace the Hine Bridge in Amesbury. Barletta Heavy Division Inc. faces proposed fines of $91,000 after a worker was injured when a crane struck an overhead power line.

An inspection by OSHA found multiple incidents of cranes striking power lines during the Hine Bridge project. Also, Barletta did not conduct a hazard assessment, failed to properly indicate the work zone with signage and did not verify that each signal person met qualifications prior to giving signals to crane operators.

OSHA’s area director said, “We issued a citation for a willful violation due to the fact that the employer knew of the power line hazard and did not take steps to correct it. We learned through interviews that the same crane had struck the same line two other times in the course of a year.”

Due to the findings, OSHA has issued a citation with $70,000 in proposed fines for the willful violation and $21,000 for three other serious violations. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Pulgini & Norton, LLP attorneys have handled workers’ compensation claims for over 25 years in and around Boston and its surrounding areas. If you or a family member has been injured at work and would like to seek legal assistance, please contact us at (781) 843-2200 or (888) 344-2046 or email us.

Cited Sources:

MA Heavy Equipment Operator Cited By OSHA After Crane Comes in Contact with Power Line and Injures Worker, WorkersCompensation.com, August 17, 2012

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