City will soon be able to revoke permits at unsafe work sites

By Meghan E. Irons GLOBE STAFF
DECEMBER 16, 2016

City officials will soon have the authority to deny, revoke, or suspend a permit for any contractor with a poor record of ensuring their workers’ safety.

The City Council approved the safety measure this week, sending a strong message to anyone pulling permits after two construction workers died in October when a water line burst under a South End street, flooding the trench and thwarting attempts to save the men.

The employees – Robert Higgins and Kelvin Mattocks – worked for Atlantic Drain Services, a Roslindale company that was found to have a long and troubling history of violations, including citations for workers lacking oxygen underground and for conditions that could lead to cave-ins, federal records show.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh, who filed the ordinance proposal in November, aimed to hold individuals and companies accountable and sought better protection for workers by giving the city the power to intervene on their behalf.

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