Judge Confirms OSHA’s Citations Against Boston Contractor

Administrative Law Judge Covette Rooney has recently ruled to uphold the U.S. Department of Labor’s eight citations for excavation violations, numerous construction hazards, and $91,200 in fines issued to a Boston contractor for insufficient work safety at a jobsite in Newton, Massachusetts. Shawn Telsi, doing business as Life Time Homes, Green Pines and/or Telsi Builders contested the citations and fines brought against him by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Telsi subsequently had the case heard by Rooney, a commission administrative law judge, who found all four willful and four serious citations against the company to be valid. The citations were issued due to the lack of head protection, the deficiency of cave-in protection in a pit that was at least 14-feet deep, for not having a safe exit from the excavation, soil that was in multiple piles at the edges of the trench, and because of the risk of impalement due to protruding and unguarded steel rebar. Marthe Kent, OSHA’s New England regional administrator, said “Serious, life-threatening hazards remained uncorrected even after they were brought to this employer’s attention…had the unprotected 14-foot-high excavation wall collapsed, it would have engulfed workers who were pouring concrete formwork and crushed them beneath tons of concrete, soil and debris.”

Michael Felsen, the Labor Department’s regional solicitor for New England, said “Employers must understand that they cannot disregard standards meant to protect the life and safety of their employees without facing consequences.” Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthy workplaces for their employees.

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US Labor Department secures decision affirming willful and serious trenching violations, $91,200 in fines against Boston contractor, OSHA Regional News Release, February 7, 2011
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