OSHA Cites Schnabel Foundation Company after Fatal Crushing Incident

Proposes $212,396 in Penalties

ANDOVER, Massachusetts – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Schnabel Foundation Company for failing to protect employees against crushing hazards while installing permanent foundation supports beneath the Woburn Public Library. The company faces $212,396 in proposed penalties.

On July 11, 2017, OSHA opened an inspection after learning that a 2,600-pound rock dislodged from the building’s foundation and fatally struck a Schnabel employee.  According to the citation, employees were not protected from hazards while conducting underpinning operations on an un-mortared stone foundation. No posting, shoring, or support system had been installed to prevent large rocks in the foundation from shifting and falling, thus exposing the employees to crushing hazards.

The contractor was also cited for failing to instruct employees to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions while working beneath the foundation. OSHA cited the company for similar hazards in 2015 when an employee was pinned by a granite block that came loose.

“Failure to supply proper safeguards and training has led to a needless and avoidable death,” said OSHA Andover Area Office Director Anthony Covello. “It is imperative that employers train their employees, and equip them with the necessary tools to prevent crushing and other hazards.”

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to accept the findings, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.