The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Wakefield, MA excavation and utilities contractor Joseph P. Cardillo & Son Inc. for willful and serious violations of excavation safety standards at a Milton, MA worksite. Cardillo is subject to almost $145,000 in proposed fines following an inspection by OSHA’s Braintree office in August of 2013 in response to an anonymous complaint.
According to Brenda Gordon, a representative for OSHA’s Braintree office, the proposed fines were based on the gravity of the hazards and the employer knowingly refusing to comply with using required safety standards. “The workers could have been crushed or buried in seconds beneath tons of soil and debris, without any escape options,” Gordon stated.
Under OSHA’s standards, all trenches and excavations 5 feet and deeper must be protected against sidewalls collapsing. Protection may be provided through shoring of the trench walls, sloping the soil at a shallow angle or by using a protective trench box.
Since 2011 Cardillo has been in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program which focuses on employers with a history of safety violations that endanger workers by demonstrating indifference to their responsibilities under the law. The company is eligible to comply or appeal the citations.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.
It is the responsibility of every employer to ensure safe working environments for all employees, and to safeguard workplaces from conditions that threaten to wellbeing and safety of themselves and employees. Employers also have the responsibility to make sure employees are properly trained and are able to perform their job efficiently and in a way that does not pose a threat to their safety. Employers are also responsible for maintaining equipment and certifying that all tools or machinery are operating properly. If an incident does occur on their premises where an employee becomes sick or is injured or killed, the employer must accurately record the incident and notify OSHA personnel immediately.
Conversely employees have the right to work in conditions that do not pose a risk to their health or safety, and are entitled to proper training and information to properly do their job and learn about potential hazards in order to prevent against injury. They are also entitled to review any records of previous work-related injuries within their business as well as get copies of any test results that may measure the hazards of their workplaces. Employees absolutely have the right to request an OSHA official to inspect their workplace if they know of or suspect unsafe or hazardous working conditions within their workplace, and they may also confidentially file a complaint with OSHA about their workplace.
If you or someone you love was injured while at work or were exposed to unsafe working conditions that left you ill or hurt, call one of the experienced Boston Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Altman & Altman to schedule a free initial consultation. Workers’ Compensation Laws are supposed to guarantee benefits to anyone who becomes injured at work, by providing individuals with compensation for any expenses incurred while they are out of work, such as medical bills, lost wages, and compensation for pain and suffering. For nearly 50 years our lawyers have been helping clients receive the compensation they deserve and we have the resources and we have successfully recovered millions of dollars in workers’ compensation benefits and high settlement verdicts for employees who have been injured while on the job. Our attorneys are available around the clock to assist you with any and all questions you may have about your case.