The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined an Idaho construction company for its role in a natural gas explosion in Lewiston.
OSHA cited M.L. Albright and Sons for failing to anticipate the change in depth of the natural gas line, which was struck by an excavator bucket. OSHA proposed a $4,900 fine, but subsequently reduced it to $2,450.
M.L. Albright and Sons’ owner stated that the company took numerous steps to determine the depth of the natural gas line. He also stated that workers dug holes twenty to thirty feet apart and believed that the pipe ran in a straight line between them. Unfortunately, the pipe had a spot where it was not buried as deeply because it was placed over other utilities.
The excavator nicked the top of the pipe causing the explosion. Debris blew out the excavator’s windshield, and the driver injured his ankle as he ran away from the blast. The excavator was left running and the natural gas was ingested by it, causing the fire.
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.
OSHA fines company over natural gas explosion, Idaho Press-Tribune, June 4, 2013
OSHA proposes fines against company after natural gas explosion in Lewiston, The Republic, June 4, 2013