Durability + Design

Building Performance and Aesthetics

A Product of Technology Publishing
JPCL/PaintSquare | D+D | Paint BidTracker

Subscribe to D+D Magazine
Durability + Design eBook: The Technology of Coatings in High-Rise Structures

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Contractor to Pay $100K in Fatal Fall

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

More items for Good Technical Practice

Comment | More

A 66-year-old New Hampshire construction management company will pay a $100,000 penalty to settle federal safety violations surrounding the fatal fall of a worker last year, authorities said.

The MacMillin Company Inc., of Keene, NH, has also agreed to beef up its employee safety training and correct all hazards cited by the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA cited the company in March for four serious and three willful violations and imposed fines totaling $167,580.

MacMillin Headquarters
Macmillin.com

The MacMillin Company, of Keene, NH, settled with OSHA for citations in connection with the fatal fall of a temporary employee last year, authorities said.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment. OSHA said MacMillin initially contested the citations before agreeing to settle.

Fatal Injury at Middle School

The case involved the death of Steven Sawyer, 58, of Dublin, NH, who was erecting scaffolding Sept. 22, 2011, at a construction site at Keene Middle School, reports say.

OSHA said a plank upon which Sawyer was working snapped, sending him plummeting approximately 27 feet to the concrete floor below. Sawyer was transported to a local hospital in critical condition and died there Oct. 6., according to local news reports.

Keene Middle School
Keene Middle School

The victim, 58, was working last year on an auditorium project at Keene Middle School when he fell 27 feet. He died two weeks later.

The victim was one of a crew of temporary employees working under MacMillin's direction at the time of the incident. OSHA said the company had been constructing a school auditorium.

Willful Citations Amended

In March, OSHA hit the company with three willful violations in connection with the fall. Each carried a fine of  $50,400. The citations alleged failure to:

  • Have a competent person inspect scaffolds and scaffold components for visible defects before each work shift and during the erection process;
  • Provide fall protection for employees erecting or dismantling support scaffolds; and
  • Provide training to each employee involved in erecting, disassembling, moving, operating, repairing, maintaining, or inspecting scaffolding.

Under the settlement agreement, the fines were dropped to $30,000 per violation and amended from willful—a violation commited with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements or plain indifference to worker safety and health—to repeat.

In February 2003, OSHA cited the company for exposing workers to falls without fall protection, according to OSHA's database. MacMillin was fined $900 and informally settled with OSHA for $450.

Serious Citations

OSHA's Concord Area Office also cited the company in March for two serious violations, each carrying a $4,410 fine. OSHA alleged:

  • Scaffold and scaffold components were not capable of supporting their own weight and at least four times the maximum intended load; and
  • Tubular welded scaffolding was erected without adequate supervision by a competent person.

The agency also cited MacMillin for a serious violation, carrying a $4,410 penalty, for covering wood platforms with paint so as to obscure the top or bottom surface. However, the agency amended the penalty to $680, according to the settlement.

A final serious citation was issued because supported scaffold poles, legs, posts, frames or uprights allegedly did not bear on base plates (exposing employees to potential shifting or collapse). OSHA dropped the penalty from $3,150 to $500 for that violation.

Expanded Training Required

In addition to correcting the cited conditions and paying the fine, MacMillin agreed to provide the same level of training to its temporary workers as it does to its permanent staff. Further, the company agreed to sponsor presentations to provide fall-protection training for those erecting and dismantling scaffolding, OSHA said.

"While no settlement can restore a life, this agreement commits this employer to taking additional actions to help prevent a similar incident from occurring in the future," said Michael Felsen, the New England regional Solicitor of Labor, whose office negotiated the settlement.

Fall-Protection Message, New Directive

"The message cannot be repeated enough: Effective training and adherence to safety standards are critical to protecting workers against deadly or disabling injuries," said Marthe Kent, OSHA's New England regional administrator. "But they are effective only if they are followed every day at every work site for every worker."

In April, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announced a campaign to provide employers and workers with lifesaving information and educational materials about working safely from ladders, scaffolds and roofs in an effort to prevent deadly falls in the construction industry.

The agency also initiated temporary enforcement measures of a fall-protection directive from 2010. However, the agency has delayed full-scale implementation four times.

About the Company

Founded in 1946, The MacMillin Company manages construction projects in Northern New England across a wide range of markets, according to its website. This year, the company became an affiliate of DEW Construction of Williston, VT.

"MacMillin maintains our professional, but personal approach to managing all of our projects," the company said, "This approach has resulted in industry recognition for excellence in construction, commitment to safety and industry ethics."

 

   

Tagged categories: Accidents; Fall protection; Fatalities; Government; Health and safety; OSHA; Scaffolding; Schools

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

KTA-Tator, Inc. - Corporate Office
KTA Consulting Services

Independent assessment of coating failures – in the field and laboratory.
Contact:
Kevin Brown, 336-874-2651
Corporate:
1-800-245-6379 x208


Arroworthy
ArroWorthy's Handcrafted Professional Brushes

One Dip of paint with our handcrafted semi-oval Rembrandt brush, you'll see why ArroWorthy makes a professional brush of unrivaled quality and performance.


Coatings For Industry, Inc.
For Tough Environments,
The Toughest Protection

A workplace exposed to vehicle traffic, fuel, and other harsh chemicals needs a floor coating that stands up to daily abuse. Wearcoat 100 high-build polyurethane provides superior protection.


VaproShield
Innovative Vapor Permeable Air Barrier Membranes

Designed for all climate construction and compatible with most substrates for easy installation, our membranes emit zero VOC's and require no primer.


BASF
New resins from BASF will have metals loving water:

Excellent corrosion resistance, low VOC, high gloss, thin films basf.us/industrialcoatings
polyorders@basf.com
800-231-7868


No-Burn, Inc.
Designed to passively protect

Same trusted brand, new code compliant uses. We’ve answered the demand for better passive fire protection. Use coatings that meet the 2012 iCodes


Chemique Inc.
Paint Removal Made Easy!

Remove multiple coats in one application. Easy to use and safe. All products meet or exceed V.O.C. regulations. Contain no methylene chloride, methanol or petroleum distillates.

 
 
 
Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker JPCL Europe

 
EXPLORE D+D:      Interact   |   Blogs   |   Resources   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   White Papers   |   Classifieds
GET D+D:      Subscribe   |   Advertising Media Kit
KNOW D+D:      About D+D   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us
 

© Copyright 2010-2014, Technology Publishing, Co., All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail webmaster@paintsquare.com