Mass. auction facing proposed fines from OSHA

BOSTON  - 

Lynnway Auto Auction is facing $267,081 in proposed penalties from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration after several citations from the agency more commonly known as OSHA.

OSHA said in a news release Thursday that it inspected the Billerica, Mass., auction on May 3 following a crash involving an SUV that morning. Five people were struck by the vehicle and died from their injuries, OSHA said.

The agency said in its news release that it was citing Lynnway for “electrical, struck-by and other hazards.”

Specifically, the 16 citations OSHA made were for “motor vehicle hazards, blocked exit routes, violations of the hazard communication standard and recordkeeping deficiencies.”

“This company was cited in 2014 for exposing employees to similar hazards,” OSHA regional administrator Galen Blanton, in Boston, said in the release. “It is critically important that employers remain vigilant about safety and implement required safety measures.”

In a statement shared with AuSM on Friday morning, Lynnway president Jim Lamb said:Since the tragic accident in May, Lynnway Auto Auction has taken a number of measures to ensure a safe environment for our customers and employees. The majority of the OSHA citations Lynnway received, while unrelated to the accident site, have either been resolved or are in the process of being corrected. 

“Over the past six months, we have made significant investment in additional safety measures at the auction site such as installing permanent, fixed bollards to provide a barrier to a potential future vehicle malfunction. Lynnway is the first auto auction in the country to have installed bollards throughout our facility,” he said.

“We will continue to work with OSHA to resolve any outstanding issues and work with members of our industry to make sure that our auto auctions are safe for all of our customers and employees.” 

The agency also did a joint employer inspection. Its findings from that indicated that temporary workers from the Dover, N.H. staffing firm TrueBlue Inc, d/b/a PeopleReady, were exposed to struck-by hazards.

That firm was given a proposed penalty of $12,675 and was cited one serious violation for a struck-by hazard, OSHA said.

“The companies have 15 business days from receipt of their 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,” OSHA said.

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