Region 6 News Release: USDL-OSHA-00-75-6-29
Thurs., June 29, 2000
Contact: Diana Petterson
PHONE: (214) 767-4776, ext. 222
OSHA PROPOSES $47,725 IN PENALTIES AGAINST A CONTRACTOR AT A GREGORY, TEXAS, CONSTRUCTION SITE
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited S.J. Louis Construction, Inc., of St. Cloud, MN., with nine alleged safety and health violations and proposed penalties of $47,725, announced the U.S. Department of Labor.
S.J. Louis employees were working in a 17 foot deep excavation at the intersection of Hwy. 181 and I-35 in Gregory, Texas, with only one trench box that had been improperly installed and was bowed from the pressure of the trench walls. OSHA regulations require that, after five feet in depth, the employer is required to protect the trench by cutting the trench wider or another appropriate alternate method.
The employees also had to climb down the back wall of the excavation and jump approximately five feet to the bottom of the trench. OSHA regulations require that anytime there is a break of 19 inches, in elevation, the employer must provide a ladder or stairs.
OSHA cited the company with seven serious violations for failing to inspect the excavation, not following the manufacturers use of the trench box and not providing ladders. A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
OSHA also cited the company with two repeat violations for not protecting employees working in an excavation and not providing safe access and egress to the excavation. A repeat violation is one in which the employer has been cited previously for a substantially similar condition.
The OSHA Corpus Christi Area Office has developed a local emphasis program to address unsafe construction work sites. OSHA dedicates significant resources to address the safety and health concerns in the construction industry.
Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call the Corpus Christi office at (361) 888-3420, ext. XXX. OSHA's toll-free hotline may be used to report workplace accidents, fatalities, or situations posing imminent danger to workers. The number is 1-800-321-6742.
S.J. Louis Construction has 15 working days, from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal hearing with the Corpus Christi Area Director, or to contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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