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Construction Continues at Apple Store in West Hartford Without Workman's Comp.

Connecticut Department of Labor issued a “stop work order” Tuesday - but work continued as of Wednesday afternoon, they said.

Patch file photo
Patch file photo

A construction site is a dangerous place to work. Hard hats and goggles are a must, but in the state of Connecticut, so too is worker compensation. This protects workers, meaning if they are injured on site, the employers will foot the bill -- like insurance.

On Tuesday Connecticut’s Department of Labor shut down construction on the Apple store in Westfarms Mall in West Hartford after a tip came in, according to Nancy Steffens from the Communications Department. Around 2 p.m. Tuesday the department’s investigators found that none of the five construction workers there were covered by workers’ compensation, she said.

“We want to keep workers safe,” Steffens told Patch in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon. “The stop work order was posted up yesterday and work must cease until they can give us proof of proper insurance.”

The main contractor on-site is Dickinson Cameron Construction, from California, and the sub-contractors are Blue Water Glass, from Michigan, and Excel Construction, from DC. None of these contractors had worker compensation in place, according to the Department of Labor.

No work should have taken place on the site after the “stop work order” poster was put up at the site on Tuesday afternoon, according to Steffens. But the Department of Labor learned that plywood had been put over the poster today -- and that work has continued on the site, Steffens said.

“Each contractor is fined $1,000 for each day of work after a stop work order,” Steffens said. She doesn’t know which of the contractors are still working, but says they will be issued with at least a $1,000 fine if they’re still working on site.

The Apple store will re-open on June 8, according to the website. But this may no longer be the case as the “stop work order” will be in place until the contractors’ can meet Connecticut’s requirements for worker protection. Westfarms Mall management was not available to comment.

When contacted for comment, Dickinson Cameron Construction’s main office in California hadn’t “heard anything about that,” while Blue Water Glass were unable to comment on continuing projects. Excel Construction could not be contacted.

Chris M. June 04, 2014 at 07:32 PM
This article has a rather poor definition of Worker's Compensation insurance for a lay person. If you are injured performing a work-related task, your employer is legally required to pay for any benefits (i.e. medical expenses, lost wages, etc), regardless of whether or not your employer has purchased Worker's Compensation insurance. The issue here is that the employer (the contractors) apparently did not have this form of insurance coverage. The stop work order was issued to (a) protect employees in the event that their employer does not have enough assets to pay any work injury claims and (b) to "punish" the employer for not carrying the required coverage or alternatively paying the required penalty to the state.
Catherine & Dennis June 04, 2014 at 08:42 PM
Does anyone know if this is another site where the DECD has given away CT money for it to be built? Asking because it would be the 3rd large business given that "benefit"(that I am aware of but there are likely to be others with the corporate give away by Malloy) while the Gov and DECD claim that CT construction workers will have jobs and do not. See the millions given to Dollar Tree and Amazon where no construction companies were from CT. Very few construction workers were at Dollar Tree- most were out of state and Amazon was in the news for out of state construction companies hiring Mexicans with work visas to work on the roofing. These workers for the Amazon Distribution Center were fined for not having work comp for the workers either Keep voting deep blue!!!!
Catherine & Dennis June 04, 2014 at 09:14 PM
These companies were fined not the workers

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