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Massachusetts Contractor Agreed to Pay Fine of $200,000

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P. Gioioso & Sons Inc., a Hyde Park contractor has a long history of violating excavation safety standards. They have agreed to pay $200,000 for exposing its employees to cave-in hazards. The contractor has also agreed to renovate its safety practices to minimize trenching hazards and enhance worker safety.

P. Gioioso & Sons Inc. works mainly on underground water and sewer mains. They have been cited nine times since 2000 by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for violations of OSHA’s trenching and excavation safety standards.

OSHA recently found employees working in unprotected trenches in both Cambridge and Framingham. It then issued citations worth $354,000 in proposed fines. Gioioso opposed the citations, and the OSHA regional solicitor drafted a settlement agreement that would require Gioioso to increase safety standards to protect its workers.

OSHA’s counsel stated, “The company will be paying a hefty fine, but more importantly, it will be investing heavily in the safety and health of all of its workers through a very significantly ramped up safety and health program. This company has now committed itself to entirely re-engineering its safety and health processes, and we intend to hold the company to that commitment.”

In addition to paying the $200,000 fine, Gioioso will inform OSHA of all excavation jobs to be done by the company in the next three years, and permit OSHA inspectors to have free access to enter and inspect the sites without a warrant. Lastly, Gioioso will create and implement a permit system for all of the excavations that will identify the hazards of each operation prior to digging and specify the means my which they will be controlled.

OSHA’s regional administrator said, “We are pleased that this employer has decided to make a meaningful commitment to safety by pledging resources and upgrading its excavation practices, as well as implementing a comprehensive safety and health program. We encourage other employers to explore and pursue this approach to better safeguard their employees against everyday work site hazards.”

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:

Recidivist Massachusetts Contractor Agrees to Significantly Overhaul Safety Practices and Pay $200,000 in Fines, WorkersCompensation.com, November 8, 2012

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