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OSHA proposes fines against contractor after rock kills worker

OSHA proposes fines against contractor after rock kills worker

U.S. federal workplace safety regulators have cited and proposed penalties totaling $212,396 against a Virginia-based specialty foundation contractor after a 2,600-pound rock fatally struck an employee.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Sterling, Virginia-based Schnabel Foundation Co. for failing to protect employees against crushing hazards while they installed permanent foundation supports beneath the Woburn Public Library in Woburn, Massachusetts, according to an agency statement issued Friday. OSHA opened an inspection in July after learning that the 2,600-pound rock dislodged from the building’s foundation and fatally struck a Schnabel employee.

The contractor was also cited for failing to instruct employees to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions while working beneath the foundation. OSHA said it cited the company for similar hazards in 2015 when an employee was pinned by a granite block that came loose.

“Failure to supply proper safeguards and training has led to a needless and avoidable death,” Anthony Covello, OSHA Andover, Massachusetts, area office director, said in the statement. “It is imperative that employers train their employees and equip them with the necessary tools to prevent crushing and other hazards.”

A company spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.





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