Citations issued in Belmont Boatworks structure collapse case

Inadequate bracing, lack of fall protection cited in investigation
By Ben Holbrook | Sep 14, 2012
Photo by: Ben Holbrook Two citations were issued to the construction company working on an addition at Belmont Boatworks after the roof collapsed in July.

Belmont — An investigation into the roof collapse of a building under construction at Belmont Boatworks in July has concluded with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issuing two citations for violations in relation to the accident.

Bill Coffin, area director for OSHA, said the two citations were issued to Liberty-based Warren and Warren Associates as a result of the investigation. The first citation was issued for improper bracing, and the second citation was issued due to a lack of fall protection for the workers, Coffin said

Dan Miller, owner of Belmont Boatworks, spoke on behalf of Warren and Warren Associates during a telephone interview Friday, Sept. 14. Miller said the fines levied against the construction company totaled about $4,000 –– a 60 percent reduction from the $30,000 originally levied.

Miller said the owners of the construction company admitted to the violations and immediately set about upgrading and replacing gear. As for the inadequate bracing, Miller said he thought the bracing was fine, but said OSHA investigators noted the piles of plywood placed on the roof should have been divided into four piles instead of two.

To address the fall protection issue, Miller said Warren and Warren Associates rented a bucket truck to make sure workers are tied off to something that is higher than what they are working on.

Despite the accident, Miller said the construction on the workshop addition is still on schedule and both companies are using the incident as a learning experience.

"We're moving forward," Miller said

No action was taken against Belmont Boatworks by OSHA after the investigation revealed the company was in compliance with safety regulations, Miller said.

The structure collapse occurred Monday, July 23, shortly after 9 a.m. when the roof on a addition to the existing workshop collapsed and dropped three workers nearly 20 feet to the ground. One of the workers suffered a broken leg, and all three were taken to Waldo County General Hospital for treatment, Maine State Police Lt. David Tripp told the Republican Journal shortly after the accident.

Coffin explained the sets of trusses include a specific bracing diagram that details how many and where they should be used to maintain the integrity of a structure.

“When those instruction aren’t followed, that’s when you have accidents,” Coffin said.

Warren and Warren Associates reached a settlement with OSHA regarding the accident and the case is closed, Coffin said

Republican Journal reporter Ben Holbrook can be reached at 338-3333 or at bholbrook@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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