Connecticut Contractor Faces Heavy Fines After Pier Collapse in Massachusetts Injures Workers (Middletown Press)

Connecticut Contractor Faces Heavy Fines After Pier Collapse in Massachusetts Injures Workers

  Monday, April 15th, 2024 Source: Middletown Press

Mohawk Northeast Inc., a marine and heavy-construction contractor based in Southington, Connecticut, has been slapped with approximately $214,000 in federal penalties by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) following a pier collapse incident. The accident occurred last October in New Bedford, Massachusetts, where a 200-foot section of the pier gave way, plunging five workers into the Acushnet River and injuring two of them.

OSHA’s investigation revealed that Mohawk failed to verify the structural integrity of the pier’s surface, which was meant to support both employees and heavy equipment. This oversight led to what OSHA classified as a "willful citation," resulting in $161,323 in penalties. Additionally, the agency identified four serious violations, including inadequate fall protection, unsecured equipment on a barge, lack of life jackets, and insufficient marking of a crane’s swing radius, leading to further fines totaling $53,004.

The company now has 15 business days from the receipt of the citations to respond. They can either comply with the findings, request an informal meeting with OSHA’s area director, or contest the penalties before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Mohawk Northeast prides itself on its experienced workforce and effective project pre-engineering, yet this incident has spotlighted significant safety lapses in its operations.

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