The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has

cited four Easthampton, Massachusetts are contractors for one willful, two repeat, and eight

serious safety and health violations. They come in response to an inspection of a worksite on

Cottage St. in Easthampton in July of 2014. This was not the first time the worksite was

inspected; the worksite was also inspected earlier in July of 2014. These violations are for

exposing employees to fall hazards. These violations carry proposed penalties of $110,670.

“Falls are the number one killer in construction work. When fall protection is absent or deficient,

as it was here, employees may be only moments away from a deadly or disabling plunge that

could kill them or end their careers,” said Mary Hoye, OSHA’s area director in Springfield. “The

sizable penalties reflect not only the danger of the fall hazards involved, but also the employer’s

knowledge of the hazards and its deliberate failure to safeguard its employees.”

Of the four contractors, James J. Welch & Co. Inc. was cited for the most violations. They acted

as the general contractor and were cited for one willful, one repeat, and three serious violations.

A heating, ventilation, and air conditioning contractor, Atlantis Comfort Systems Corp., was

cited for two serious violations. A masonry subcontractor, Jean Beauthier, was cited for two

serious violations. And window contractor J&R Glass Service was cited for one serious


All of these violations were in relation to fall hazards and a lack of adequate protections or

training. And while many in the construction industry believe that the only person liable to

ensure proper OSHA compliance is the general contractor, this example shows that any

contractor with an employee at the worksite must ensure that their employees are working in a

safe environment.

If you have any questions about this case or about occupational safety and health in general,

please contact us. If you would like to add anything about proper fall protections, please leave a