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Two Massachusetts contractors are facing a combined $690,000 in penalties for alleged safety errors that led to worker injuries during a demolition and asbestos abatement project at a former South Boston power plant.

On May 5, 2022, an employee of an Everett, Massachusetts demolition contractor lost his legs when a concrete mezzanine platform in a building at the former Boston Edison power plant collapsed. Two other workers suffered injuries as well.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that NorthStar Contracting Group Inc. of Everett and the project’s Boston-based general contractor, Suffolk Construction Inc., failed to ensure adequate demolition and asbestos safeguards for their employees.

OSHA cited NorthStar Contracting for eight violations of workplace safety standards. The agency proposed $399,864 in penalties. OSHA found NorthStar failed to conduct an engineering survey to determine the condition of the mezzanine and framing to avoid the possibility of unplanned collapse, among other safety failures.

OSHA also issued five citations to Suffolk Construction and proposed $292,116 in penalties for the company’s alleged failure to inspect the contractor’s work in the asbestos regulated containment area to ensure compliance with all asbestos standards.

“The employers in this case exposed employees to the immediate hazard of structural collapse and the potential long-term consequences of asbestos exposure. These hazards are preventable and employers can control and eliminate them. Had they ensured proper planning – including engineering surveys and frequent and regular job site inspections, effective safety procedures, personal protective equipment and employee training – was in place, this incident and the violations that followed might have been avoided,” maintained OSHA Area Director James Mulligan.

Each employer has 15 business days yo comply, request an informal conference with OSHA, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Topics
Workers’ Compensation
Contractors

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