OSHA Settlement with Massachusetts Contractor Seeks to Prevent Future Deaths

BOSTON, MA – A settlement agreement between the U.S. Department of Labor and Mass Bay Electrical Corp. commits the East Boston electrical contractor to extensive corrective action to prevent future deaths and injuries and establishes a training fund in the memory of Joseph Boyd III and John Loughran, who were killed when a crane toppled in Bourne on April 12, 2014.

The two men, members of Local 104 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, were working atop a personnel platform raised on truck-mounted crane when the crane overturned and fell approximately 140 feet with both men harnessed to it, killing both men.

The department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Mass Bay Electrical for, among other things, not training employees properly or evaluating their ability to operate the crane properly. The company also failed to follow the manufacturer’s procedures for safely operating the crane. The company contested the citations initially but has now reached a settlement with the Labor Department.

Under the terms of the settlement, Mass Bay Electrical Corp. agrees to repeat violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act for failing to comply with the manufacturer’s instructions for safely operating the crane and for failing to ensure that operators were properly evaluated or trained, and to a number of other serious violations.

The company will pay an amended penalty of $136,000. In addition to the violations and monetary penalties, Mass Bay also agrees to perform a number of corrective actions designed to prevent future accidents, including extensive certification and training for management and employees on crane and aerial lift operations and safety standards, committing both to regular internal and independent safety audits, developing an in-house safety committee, requiring field managers to be journeymen linemen on worksites where linemen work, and providing regular notification to OSHA of utility work projects.

A unique aspect of the settlement is the requirement for Mass Bay Electrical Corp. to establish an endowment fund in the names of Joseph Boyd III and John Loughran to provide scholarships to workers interested in obtaining training and education in the fields of line construction project management and safety. The company will provide at least $3,000 in annual contributions to the fund for the next 10 years and at least $5,000 in annual contributions for the succeeding decade.

The fund will be administered in cooperation with IBEW Local 104.