Fines of $1.2 million over demolition death

The demolition company involved in the fatal collapse at the Government Center in Boston faces almost $1.2 million in fines for “wilfully exposing workers to hazards”.

A heavy equipment operator – 51-year old Peter Monsini – doing demolition on the eighth floor of the Government Center garage in downtown Boston died on March 26, 2022, when the partially demolished floor collapsed, and the excavator and its operator fell 80 feet. It was the employee’s first day on the job.

An inspection by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that Brockton-based contractor JDC Demolition Company. Inc. failed to adequately train its workers on the demolition plan and safety management system to help them recognise and avoid unsafe conditions.

Specifically, on the morning of the collapse, another heavy equipment operator, who had started demolition on a concrete beam on an upper floor bay, told the foreman they had concerns about the floor’s safety. Despite the employee raising safety concerns to the foreman, a second employee was assigned to operate the excavator. That worker, the deceased, never received a safety briefing and was not trained to follow the engineer’s demolition plan.

OSHA also found that JDC Demolition deviated from the demolition plan by imposing unsafe loads, in the form of heavy equipment, on the partially demolished seventh, eighth and ninth floors. The demolition plan prohibited the placement of heavy equipment on partially demolished floor bays.​

As a result, OSHA cited the company for eight egregious-wilful violations, two serious violations and one other than serious violation of workplace safety standards and proposed a total of $1,191,292 in penalties. The wilful citations address the training and loading violations; the serious and other than serious violations are regarding the inadequate accident prevention program, uncovered floor holes and insufficient record-keeping.

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