Masonry Contractor Agrees to Pay $134,000 in Fines, Correct Fall Hazards at Work Sites

OSHA cited the company in January 2011 for willful and serious violations of workplace safety standards, including fall hazards of up to 17 feet for employees working at Rowes Wharf in Boston.

Wilmington, Mass., masonry contractor NER Construction Management Inc. has agreed to pay $134,000 in penalties and take significant steps to protect its employees against fall hazards, according to the terms of a settlement agreement that resolves litigation with the U.S. Department of Labor.

OSHA cited NER in January 2011 for willful and serious violations of workplace safety standards, including fall hazards of up to 17 feet for employees working at Rowes Wharf in Boston.

In addition to paying the fines, NER verifies in the agreement that it has corrected all the cited hazards and is taking steps to increase its employees' safety on all job sites. These steps include performing a detailed hazard analysis on each job to determine feasible fall protection safeguards for each employee, providing competent person 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 as well as copies of any outside safety audits conducted over the next two years.

"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," said Marthe Kent, OSHA's New England regional administrator. "With this settlement, NER Construction Management pledges to take such steps for the safety of its workers."

"Our ultimate goal in litigating OSHA cases is to ensure that employers safeguard their workers against needless and potentially devastating hazards," said Michael Felsen, the Labor Department's New England regional solicitor. "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. The original safety inspections were conducted by OSHA's Braintree Area Office.

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