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US Department of Labor cites East Freetown company after death of employee while on the job



BRAINTREE, MA – A federal investigation has found that an East Freetown concrete contractor could have prevented an employee maintaining a soil screener from suffering fatal injuries on Sept. 6, 2023, by following required safety regulations.

An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found John Oliveira & Sons Stamp Concrete Inc. instructed the employee to remove a soil screen on a conveyor, after which the employee was crushed between the conveyor and its frame because the company failed to ensure the conveyor’s power source was disabled to prevent its unintended startup as the employee performed maintenance.

The employee was 24-year-old Josué Deodoro Tiquiram Sam, also known as Sam Jackson, of New Bedford. According to a GoFundMe fundraiser, “Josué was a young Maya K’iche’ migrant from Guatemala who came to the U.S. in 2022. His goal was to buy a piece of land and build a house for his parents and siblings. His body was flown back to Guatemala and he was buried there on September 25.

“John Oliveira & Sons Stamp Concrete Inc.’s failure to employ well-known safeguards needlessly cost a worker’s life,” said OSHA Area Director James Mulligan in Braintree, Massachusetts. “Employers must develop and rigorously maintain equipment and each element of their energy control plans to identify and minimize hazards and protect workers’ safety and health.”

OSHA investigators found that the company did not do the following:

-Have an energy control program to isolate the conveyor’s power source and prevent an unintended startup.
-Provide locks, tags or other hardware to isolate, secure or block machines and equipment from their energy sources to prevent sudden starts or moves.
-Adequately maintain the soil screener, which had numerous defects and missing parts.
-Forbid employees from riding in a front-end loader’s bucket, exposing them to crush and fall hazards.
-Record each work-related fatality, injury or illness case on the OSHA Form 300 or equivalent.

OSHA cited the company for six violations, including three willful and two serious violations and one other-than-serious violation. The agency assessed $200,905 in proposed penalties.

John Oliveira & Sons Stamp Concrete Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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