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OSHA News Release
Region 10

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Region 10 News Release: #06-13-SEA (#06-02)
Date: Jan. 9, 2006
Contact: Jeannine Lupton
Phone: 206-553-7620

OSHA Finds Safety Violations at Tucker Excavation & Pipeline's Kootenai, Idaho, Worksite

SEATTLE -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Tucker Excavation and Pipeline of Sandpoint, Idaho, for alleged safety violations found during an inspection following a fatal trenching accident July 21, 2005, at a Kootenai, Idaho, worksite. Proposed penalties total $ 25,950.

OSHA issued a willful citation because the employer did not provide an adequate system to protect workers from cave-ins. Workers were laying pipe in a six- to seven-foot deep trench with nearly vertical walls that were impacted when a damaged water pipe weakened the trench, exposing the workers to a cave-in.

A serious citation was also issued alleging failure to initiate or maintain a safety and health program with regular inspections of equipment and jobsites; lack of safety training for workers; lack of protective equipment and clothing for workers; lack of posted signs at construction sites; lack of qualified flaggers and barricades at worksites, and failure to protect workers from hazards posed by water accumulation.

Tucker Excavation and Pipeline has 15 working days following receipt of the citations to contest the violations or request a meeting with OSHA to discuss the violation notices, including methods of correction, length of abatement periods and proposed penalties.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the law and regulations. A serious violation is one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.

Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit


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