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After 2 Workers Die, Company is Fined $1,475,813 and a Man is Charged with Manslaughter – Part 4Wednesday, May 17th, 2017
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) imposed penalties of almost $1.5 million against Atlantic Drain Service Company, Inc., in Boston, MA, following an inspection instigated by two workplace fatalities. In addition, the owner faces two manslaughter charges as well as other criminal charges in connection with the workers’ deaths and safety issues on the job.
News sources revealed more details about the deaths of workers Robert Higgins and Kelvin Mattocks. As they were working in a trench that was approximately 12 feet deep, the trench collapsed. The men were both trapped by soil up to their waists. Tragically, the collapse of the trench caused an adjacent supply line to a fire hydrant to break. The trench was quickly filled with water from the broken water pipe, and the men were trapped underwater within seconds. Coworkers tried desperately to save the men, but they both drowned.
The man who oversaw the work at Atlantic Drain on the day the workplace fatalities occurred, the same man criminally charged, allegedly failed to:
- Install a trench support system to protect workers in a 12-foot trench from a trench collapse;
- Prevent the adjacent fire hydrant line from breaking, by virtue of failing to prevent a trench collapse;
- Remove workers from the dangerous trench conditions;
- Provide the workers with training that would equip them to identify and address dangers associated with excavation work and trenching;
- At all times provide a ladder so that workers could exit the trench;
- Support structures near the trench that posed overhead dangers; and
- Provide workers with eye protection and hard hats.
Atlantic Drain was cited for 18 willful, serious, repeat, and other-than-serious violations of safety standards for the workplace. In 2007 and 2012, OSHA alleges to have cited the company for similar hazards related to trenching worksites.
Tags: 2015 Philadelphia train derailment, American League Division Series, Amtrak, Boston, Employment, Fire hydrant, New York City, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, United States, United States Department of Labor