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Haverhill

September 23, 2010

Haverhill roofer faces $84k in OSHA fines

HAVERHILL SEmD A local roofing contractor faces $84,800 in fines for alleged willful, repeat and serious safety violations at a Merrimac work site.

Daniel Antonelli, doing business as Antonelli Roofing and Construction, was cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), for fall and electrical hazards found during an inspection of 10 Union St. in Merrimac.

Inspectors found workers were exposed to falls of more than 20 feet while performing work without fall protection, and a ladder being used that did not extend at least 3 feet over the work as required for stability.

Inspectors also found workers faced electric shock and burns from an ungrounded extension cord and from working too closely to electrical circuits.

As a result of the its inspection, OSHA issued Antonelli one willful citation with a $70,000 fine for the lack of fall protection; two repeat citations with $12,800 in fines for the ladder and foot protections hazards, and one serious citation with a $2,000 fine for the electrical hazards.

OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health. The repeat citations stem from OSHA citations issued to Antonelli in October 2009 following an inspection at a site in Methuen.

"The sizable fines proposed here reflect the severe and recurring nature of these hazards, several of which are among the most prevalent and dangerous in construction work," said Jeffrey Erskine, OSHA's area director for Middlesex and Essex counties. "A fall, or contracting an energized power source could kill or disable a worker in seconds. It's imperative that this employer ensure that proper and effective protective measures are in place and in use at all time at all job sites."

Antonelli has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply or to contest them.

Antonelli did not respond to calls for comment.

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