25 Investigates: Company involved in Bedford wall collapse that injured 5 has history of violations

BEDFORD, Mass. — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating after five people were injured, one seriously, after a wall collapsed at a home that was under construction in Bedford on Wednesday morning, officials said.

Emergency crews responding to a construction site at a home on Dunster Road shortly after 7:30 a.m. found a wall that had given way and a handful of people suffering from injuries, according to Bedford police.

E.G. Builders of East Boston was the construction company involved in Wednesday’s incident, a Bedford building inspector confirmed to 25 Investigates.

One of the construction workers is in critical condition and four others had to be hospitalized after a wall collapsed, trapping some of the crew, Bedford interim Fire Chief Paul Sheehan said.

A bystander performed CPR on an unconscious member of the crew after extracting them from the rubble. The victims, all males, were taken to the hospital for their injuries, said Sheehan. The homeowners were not inside at the time of the collapse.

Eight workers were attempting to raise a gable wall as part of a major rehab project when the structure came tumbling down.

OSHA will now work to determine if the construction project should have had more workers on hand to help raise the wall.

“It seemed like they may have had too few workers for the weight of the wall,” Sheehan said.

OSHA will also investigate whether any improper safety procedures were used and if construction can continue, according to Bedford police.

A building permit was issued at the construction site to demolish a single-car garage and build a three-car garage, police say.

Records reviewed by 25 Investigates show OSHA has issued the company a dozen violations since 2015, and thousands of dollars in fines.

The records show that E.G. Builders had a record of being cited for similar violations throughout the years: including citations for failing to follow standards for ladder safety, fall protection systems, and eye and face protection.

OSHA cited E.G. Builders with 4 serious violations and 1 repeat violation in July of last year.

During a surprise visit to a job site in Newburyport, inspectors found a lack of required safety equipment, safe operation of industrial trucks, eye, and face protection as well as fall protection for employees.

OSHA requires guardrails and/or safety nets when workers are on platforms six feet or higher.

OSHA records show E.G. Builders accumulated five serious and two willful citations following inspections in 2015 and 2018.

They included not having adequate eye, face, and head protection, fall protection systems and not meeting stairways and ladder safety standards.

In all from 2015 to 2022, the company faced about $76,000 in initial fines.

All of the violations were resolved with settlement agreements.

E.G. Builders was ultimately assessed nearly $20,400 in penalties.

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