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Death at Oft-Cited Contractor Probed

Monday, August 5, 2013

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A Boston-area construction contractor with a lengthy history of health, safety and payroll violations has now lost a young employee in a job-site accident.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death of Jason M. Faria, of Fall River, MA. The father of one daughter was killed on a construction site three days before his 27th birthday.

Faria, an employee of Diaz Construction of Avon, MA, perished July 23 when a concrete form to which he was harnessed came loose and fell, Mike Fish, of general contractor JK Scanlon, told the Boston Herald.

Jason M. Faria
Silvia-Faria Funeral Homes

Jason M. Faria, a father of one, was killed just days before his 27th birthday.

Diaz Construction was a subcontractor on the project, which involved construction of an inn and spa in a residential community called The Pinehills in Plymouth, MA.

Faria had worked for Diaz for four years, the newspaper said.

Diaz Construction could not be reached for comment Friday (Aug. 2).

'Everything Looked Safe'

Company owner Leonel Diaz told the Herald that his company was conscientious about safety.

“Everything looked safe,” Diaz told the Herald yesterday. “Nobody knows how it happened. We have a safety officer, and we try to do everything by the book. That’s why he was tied up.” - See more at: http://bostonherald.com/business/business_markets/2013/07/death_at_pinehills_spurs_probe#sthash.HwpvBf3x.dpuf

"Everything looked safe," the newspaper quoted Diaz as saying. "Nobody knows how it happened. We have a safety officer, and we try to do everything by the book. That's why he was tied up."

Faria's stepfather, Mario Benjamin, told the newspaper: "What I know is he was tied up on his harness on a concrete form ... and the form started to slip down, and he tried to unhook the harness to jump off, but he couldn't."

Health, Safety Violations

Diaz Construction has a lengthy history of federal health and safety violations, although the records show no prior fatalities.

The Pinehills
Architect's Rendering

Diaz Construction was a subcontractor on an inn and spa being built at The Pinehills, a residential community in Plymouth, MA.

OSHA records show 13 inspections of Diaz worksites between 2005 and 2012. Seven of those inspections yielded a total of 19 citations, the record shows.

The record includes:

  • One serious violation for general requirements in December 2011;
  • Four serious violations for a variety of issues in May 2011;
  • One serious violation (involving ladders) and one repeat violation (involving fall protection) in 2010;
  • Three serious, two repeat and one other-than-serious violation in 2009;
  • Four serious violations in 2007; and
  • One serious violation in December 2005 and one serious violation in May 2005.

Every violation was upheld as originally cited, the record shows. Original fines for all of the cases totaled $64,900; the company eventually paid a total of $38,128 in fines after settlements, according to the record.

Payroll Settlement

In addition to its OSHA history, Diaz has also run afoul of state labor laws.

In 2010, the Massachusetts Attorney General announced a settlement that required Diaz, then 47, to pay $142,000 in restitution to 129 former and current employees and a $20,000 penalty to the Commonwealth.

The Attorney General's Office said Diaz "had unintentionally failed to pay his employees time-and-a-half for overtime hours worked between July 2006 and May 2008."

Authorities said Diaz and his company, formerly located in Brockton, MA, had "cooperated fully" in that investigation.

What I know is he was tied up on his harness on a concrete form … and the form started to slip down, and he tried to unhook the harness to jump off, but he couldn’t.” - See more at: http://bostonherald.com/business/business_markets/2013/07/death_at_pinehills_spurs_probe#sthash.HwpvBf3x.dpuf
“Everything looked safe,” Diaz told the Herald yesterday. “Nobody knows how it happened. We have a safety officer, and we try to do everything by the book. That’s why he was tied up.” - See more at: http://bostonherald.com/business/business_markets/2013/07/death_at_pinehills_spurs_probe#sthash.HwpvBf3x.dpuf

   

Tagged categories: Business management; Commercial contractors; Concrete; Construction; Enforcement; Fall protection; Fatalities; Health and safety; OSHA; Subcontractors

Comment from otis wayne Hale, (8/5/2013, 9:43 AM)

Sounds like just another jack-leg contractor cutting every corner he can cut because he bid the job too cheaply to begin with, and it sounds like nobody trained that hand on being properly hooked up to something actually secure that did not have the potential to drag him to his death when it fell free. Nobody knew or cared enough about worker safety at height in this instance. This was an accident proper training would have prevented.


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