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Mercury Hazards Draw $330k OSHA Fine

Last week, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited a Connecticut contractor, Manafort Brothers, with two willful and six serious violations because they exposed the workers at the demolition of Eversource’s Schiller Station in Portsmouth, New Hampshire project site to hazards related to mercury, respirators, protective clothing and sanitary conditions. Along with the citations, Manafort Brothers also faces total fines of $329,548.

The OSHA investigation that led to the citations and fines was triggered by several complaints by workers at the site. The investigation determined that Manafort Brothers had failed to take appropriate action to protect employees from the dangerous chemical as they conducted a demolition operation on a mercury boiler.

For its part, Manafort Brothers has said that it stopped work on the project in June 2017, just after the inspection, so as to evaluate its safety procedures, along with many experts and consultants. They said they wanted to ensure workers were not exposed to mercury at levels above acceptable limits. They also claim to have retrained workers before they resumed demolition operations in September. Because of those factors and others, Manafort Brothers plans to challenge the citations and fines.

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