U.S. Fines Rhode Island Contractor for Safety Violations

May 8, 2012

A Newport, R.I., contractor is facing nearly $118,000 in federal fines for alleged safety violations at a sewer line project in Middletown.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration says Thursday that Raymond J. Cawley Contracting Inc. was cited for failing to protect workers from the risk of a trench cave-in.

OSHA says an inspection last fall found that an eight-foot trench at the worksite was improperly dug and that workers lacked protective headgear or a ladder tall enough to allow them to quickly exit the trench.

OSHA’s director for Rhode Island Patrick Griffin says the “sizable” fines reflect the danger posed by trench cave-ins.

Matthew DeAngelis, the controller at Cawley, says the trench was safe and that his company will ask OSHA to reduce the fine.

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