It’s an all-too-familiar scenario: an employer neglects to follow proper safety procedures and a worker is subsequently injured.
Such was the case for an excavation worker in Longmeadow this summer. Davide Nascimento was working on the installation of a sewer line along Hazardville Road in Longmeadow, when a portion of roadway collapsed and broke a six-inch water main pipe causing an instant flood of the excavation and Nascimento to drown.
An inspection by the Springfield Area Office of U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration revealed that Nascimento’s Ludlow-based employer A. Martin & Son Construction, Inc. did not take adequate measures to protect the water line against damage. Inspectors also found that the company also did not inspect the excavation for evidence of a situation that could result in a cave-in, such as damage from the previous night’s rainstorm that weakened excavation walls.
Springfield area director Mary Hoye said, “Mr. Nascimento would not have died had his employer followed proper procedures to identify and eliminate excavation hazards. Trenching and excavation operations are among the most dangerous in construction work. Employers must educate themselves and employees on trenching safeguards, including cave-in protection and having a competent person on-site to identify hazards and promptly correct any hazards.”
OSHA consequently cited A. Martin & Son Construction this month, for two serious violations of workplace safety standards. Each citation carries a proposed penalty of $7,000, the maximum fine for a serious violation.