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MacMillin negotiates $100k fine following worker's death

KEENE - MacMillin Co. will pay $100,000 in a settlement with the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration following violations that lead to the death of an employee.

MacMillin was cited in March and fined $167,580 for alleged willful and serious violations of safety standards following the death of an employee on Sept. 16, 2011, at a Keene Middle School construction site.

Steven Sawyer, 58, of Dublin, was one of the temporary MacMillin employees erecting scaffolding that day in the newly built middle school auditorium when the plank upon which Sawyer was working snapped, resulting in a 27-foot fall to the concrete floor below.

Sawyer died from his injuries two weeks later at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon.

Inspectors from OSHA's Concord office said the scaffold had not been inspected for defects, employees had not been trained properly and the company had not ensured protection from falling, according to the March citation.

Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA's New Hampshire area director, said Tuesday that MacMillin had met with OSHA Solicitor's Office in Boston to negotiate the lower fine.

According to the order issued in November, MacMillin agreed to the $100,000 penalty and two abatement measures to provide the same training for temporary workers as it does for permanent workers and to sponsor two presentations on providing 100 percent fall protection when erecting or dismantling scaffolding before this April.

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Meghan Pierce may be reached at


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