U.S. Labor Department and Construction Company Settle Litigation Over Workplace Safety

The U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has recently settled litigation with NER Construction Management Inc., a Wilmington masonry contractor. The construction company has agreed to pay $134,000 in penalties and make significant safety protocol changes to protect company employees against workplace accidents. According to the terms of the settlement agreement that resolves litigation with the U.S. Department of Labor. At a jobsite located at Rowes Wharf in Boston, the original safety inspections were conducted by OSHA’s Braintree Area Office in January 2011. OSHA cited NER for willful and serious violations of workplace safety standards. NER employees also faced falling hazards of up to 17 feet.

According to the terms of the settlement agreement that resolves litigation with the U.S. Department of Labor, NER has agreed to pay the fines and has verified that it has fixed all of the cited hazards and is now taking steps to increase workplace safety on all job sites. This new protocol includes performing a detailed hazard analysis on each job to determine fall protection safeguards for every employee on the job, providing competent personal training for all employees authorized to identify and correct fall hazards, and revising the company’s disciplinary policy to include management employees. NER also agrees to provide OSHA with a monthly report of all job sites on which it will be working for the next year in addition to copies of any external safety audits conducted over the next two years.

Marthe Kent, OSHA’s New England regional administrator, said “Whenever OSHA cites employers, we’re looking for them to not only correct specific cited hazards but also to take effective steps to prevent them from recurring…With this settlement, NER Construction Management pledges to take such steps for the safety of its workers.” Michael Felsen, the Labor Department’s New England regional solicitor, said “Our ultimate goal in litigating OSHA cases is to ensure that employers safeguard their workers against needless and potentially devastating hazards…This positive settlement both upholds OSHA’s findings and lays a foundation for future compliance by this employer, which will result in safer workplaces for its employees.” Attorney James Polianites of the department’s Regional Office of the Solicitor in Boston litigated the case.

If you or your loved one has been injured in the workplace, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyer.


US Labor Department reaches settlement with Wilmington, Mass., masonry contractor to enhance fall protection for workers, OSHA Regional News Release, December 21, 2011
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