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Contractor cited after workers plunge in pier collapse

pier collapse

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Thursday it cited a marine and heavy construction contractor after five workers plunged into a river during a pier collapse.

OSHA cited Plantsville, Connecticut-based Mohawk Northeast Inc. for one “willful” violation and four “serious” violations and proposed $214,327 in penalties following the October 2023 workplace accident.

Two of the five workers who fell into the Acushnet River in New Bedford, Massachusetts, were injured after a 200-foot section of pier collapsed on Hervey Tichon Avenue.

OSHA said the company failed to determine whether the pier’s walking and working surfaces had the strength and structural integrity to safely support employees plus the weight of the materials and equipment at the construction site.

Mohawk Northeast also failed to secure a crawler crane to a barge to prevent shifting, failed to mark the crane’s swing radius to prevent it from striking employees, and didn’t provide life jackets for workers, the agency said.

The company has 15 business days to contest the citation and proposed penalties.