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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

South Quad contractor fined $5,200 for safety violations

The+Occupational+Health+and+Safety+Administration+fined+Connecticut+Mason+Contractors%2C+Inc.+over+%245%2C200+for+violating+federal+safety+laws+while+constructing+Quinnipiac+University%E2%80%99s+new+residence+hall.
Jack Muscatello
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration fined Connecticut Mason Contractors, Inc. over $5,200 for violating federal safety laws while constructing Quinnipiac University’s new residence hall.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined a Quinnipiac University contractor more than $5,200 for three instances of noncompliance with Department of Labor safety policies on the university’s $293 million South Quad construction site.

Inspectors issued Connecticut Mason Contractors, Inc. citations for three separate safety violations — one of which was considered serious — following a surprise inspection last October.

OSHA records obtained by The Chronicle indicate that Connecticut Mason Contractors on one occasion did not instruct each employee to recognize and avoid unsafe worksite conditions.

Specifically, during construction of the residence hall, the Middletown-based masonry contractor did not educate an employee on the hazards associated with “walking under an aerial lift while window installation work was being performed approximately 24 feet, 6 inches above ground level.”

The contractor’s inadequate employee training procedures, the report said, failed to “control or eliminate any hazards or other exposure to illness or injury.”

Inspectors fined Connecticut Mason Contractors more than $4,200 for this violation alone.

OSHA also fined the contractor $1,000 for failing to report two employee injuries within seven days of their occurrence. The work-related injuries in question occurred around Jan. 10 and March 20 of last year, according to the citation.

Officials initially imposed a $6,000 penalty for the improper training citation and an additional $2,000 fine for the two injury report violations. However, OSHA reduced the fines to $4,200 and $1,000, respectively, on Jan. 23 following an informal settlement.

Inspection records dating back to 1972 indicate that OSHA had never previously cited the 60-year-old contractor for health and safety violations.

John Pettit, Quinnipiac’s associate director of public relations, did not comment on Connecticut Mason Contractors’ unsafe practices on the university’s South Quad site. It is unclear if the safety citations have impacted the construction process.

“The construction team is making great progress on the development of the South Quad,” Pettit wrote in an email statement to The Chronicle. “We are very proud of the project and safety is always of the utmost importance.”

Connecticut Mason Contractors did not immediately respond to The Chronicle’s request for comment.

OSHA also documented health and safety complaints filed against two of Quinnipiac’s other South Quad contractors: FIP Construction, Inc. and Advanced Performance Glass, Inc.

Officials inspected both contractors during the Oct. 27 surprise inspection but did not issue any violations.

OSHA has not conducted further inspections at the South Quad site since October.

The South Quad site has been under construction since the end of the fall 2022 semester. The new development — which includes a residence hall, a new School of Business and an interdisciplinary academic building recently dubbed “The SITE” (Science, Innovation, Technology and Exploration) — will open between August 2024 and May 2025.

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Katie Langley, Editor-in-Chief
Cat Murphy, News Editor
Jack Muscatello, Digital Managing Editor

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