Report Documents Lax Construction Safety Standards at AvalonBay

A report on the lack of adherence to safety standards at REIT giant AvalonBay should be compulsory reading for construction workers and Boston construction accident attorneys.

The report titled Troubling Developments – The History of Safety Problems, Law-Breaking Contractors and Unaffordable Health Insurance at AvalonBay Communities has been prepared by the union 32BJ SEIU, and documents a number of examples of  lax construction safety standards at the company, which owns more than 190 apartment communities across 10 states, including Massachusetts.

According to the report, the company, its contractors and sub contractors have been cited for at least 34 fall protection-related violations over the past decade alone.  In 2008, the former Chief Executive Officer of the Company had claimed that the company had a policy of terminating subcontractors who engaged in illegal practices.  According to the report, that has not been the case at all.  The company continues to use rogue contractors who have made a habit of violating safety standards.

AvalonBay has also been fined for a number of other violations, including lack of fire protection, failure to protect employees from exposure to lead, failure to remove uncovered debris, insufficient safety training, and failure to cover holes.  All of these are potentially deadly hazards that can lead to catastrophic injuries.

In Massachusetts, concerns over the company’s poor construction safety standards should be even higher because of a fatal fall accident that occurred at a site in Massachusetts in 2007.  That year, 28-year-old carpenter Oscar Pintado fell down an elevator shaft when he was working on an Avalon Bay construction site in Woburn.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated the death, and levied a fine on Caballero Construction Company, which happened to be the subcontractor of the AvalonBay contractor.