Massachusetts Bay Electrical Corporation was cited by the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) last week, following the deaths of two of workers in April.
According to reports by OSHA officials, the two electrical workers had been working in Bourne, MA, from a raised personnel platform attached to an Elliot 40142 truck-mounted crane. Then men, who were performing maintenance work on power lines along the mainland side of the Cape Cod Canal, fell more than 150 feet when the crane suddenly overturned. Both men tragically sustained fatal injuries.
Brenda Gordon, OSHA’s area director for Boston and southeastern Massachusetts said that the accident could have been prevented had the employer supplied the men with adequate training that would have ultimately allowed the men to conduct their work safely.
Following a months-long investigation, OSHA officials found that the employees were not properly trained or evaluated on how to use the Elliott 40142 truck-mounted crane. The report also found that supervisors at the job site did not follow procedures for setting up and operating the crane in accordance with the crane’s safety manual, even though the manual was in the crane and at the job site. “They also did not conduct proper pre-lift planning and other required tests to ensure that the lift could be done safely.”
OSHA cited the Massachusetts Bay Electrical Corporation with two willful violations of workplace safety standards. By OSHA standards, “a willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.” According to OSHA reports, the labor taskforce also cited the company for four serious violations, including not using load charts to determine the crane’s minimum boom angle, not using an aerial lift, allowing the crane to operate at greater than 50 percent of the rated capacity for its configuration and for failing to conduct a trial lift of the personnel platform prior to use. In total, the company is faced with $168,000 in fines.
By law, employers are required to provide adequate training to employees on how to use equipment properly. In this case, employees on the worksite did not adhere to proper protocol, which could have ultimately prevented this tragic incident from happening.
In addition to the physical injuries an employee may sustain during a workplace accident, victims and their families must also cope with a great deal of emotional and financial stress. Costs associated with a work injury or death can include medical bills, lost wages, and psychological care. If you have a question about workplace injury or if your loved one was the victim of a workplace fatality, call one of our experienced Boston Workers’ Compensation Attorneys for a free initial consultation to discuss filing a workers’ compensation claim. One of our seasoned lawyers at Altman & Altman will thoroughly investigate your work injury case and examine all avenues of recovery for you. There may be third parties who can be held liable for your loss, such as the manufacturer of a defective piece of equipment or a negligent contractor, and we can file claims or lawsuits against all negligent parties so that you receive the compensation you deserve.
To view the full report, click here.