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OSHA News Release
Region 1

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Region 1 News Release: 06-879-BOS/BOS 2006-158
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074

OSHA Fines Conway Contractor for Cave-In Hazard at Keene Worksite

CONCORD, N.H. -- A lack of cave-in protection at a Keene storm water catch basin installation site has resulted in a Conway contractor being fined $40,200 by the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Perm-A-Drive Paving Company Inc., was cited for one alleged willful, one alleged repeat and two alleged serious violations of safety standards following an April 11 inspection of an excavation located on Emerald Street in Keene. The inspection found two employees working in a seven foot deep excavation that lacked protection against a collapse of its sidewalls. Last August, OSHA cited and fined the company for a similar hazard at a Wolfeboro jobsite.

"This employer knows that all excavations five feet or deeper must be safeguarded against collapse yet failed to provide that required protection for this excavation," said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA's New Hampshire area director. "This put the workers at risk of being crushed and buried beneath tons of soil if its unprotected sidewalls had caved in on them."

As a result, Perm-A-Drive was issued one willful citation and fined $35,000 for the lack of collapse protection. The company was also issued two serious citations, with $4,000 in fines, for no safe means of exiting the trench and an undermined sidewalk adjacent to the trench. A repeat citation, with a $1,200 fine, was issued for a steel chain sling that was not marked with its lifting capacity.

OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations. A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm are likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. A repeat citation is issued when an employer has previously been cited for a similar hazard and that citation has become final. Detailed information on excavation safety, including a trenching "Quick Card", is available for employers and workers on OSHA's Web site at:

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Concord area office, telephone (603) 225-1629.

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