Region 10 News Release: 08-156-SAN (SF-16)
Feb. 13, 2008
Contact: Roger Gayman
U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA fines Guam Construction Co. more than $29,000 for safety violation
SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Guam Construction Co. for alleged safety violations at a sewer pipe excavation site on Ypao Road in Tamuning, Guam.
OSHA cited the company for an alleged willful violation following a planned inspection at the worksite on Oct. 26, 2007, assessing a proposed penalty of $28,000 for failure to provide cave-in protection for an employee working in a 6-foot, 6-inch deep trench. OSHA cited the construction company three times between 1999 and 2004 for violations of the excavation standard, each time for failure to provide cave-in protection. A willful violation is one committed with intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
OSHA also has cited the company with two alleged serious violations. It assessed a $1,000 proposed penalty for the company's failure to remove employees from a hazardous trench until the necessary precautions had been taken to ensure their safety. OSHA also levied a $600 proposed penalty because employees were not provided warning vests or other suitable garments marked with or made of reflectorized or high-visibility material when exposed to vehicle traffic. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
"These violations occurred because Guam Construction failed to follow basic safety and health requirements for employees working at the Ypao Road site," said Teresa Harrison, OSHA's acting regional administrator in San Francisco. "These violations had the potential of resulting in the death or serious injury of one or more of the company's employees."
Guam Construction, based in Barrigada, Guam, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply with them, to request and participate in an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or to contest the citations before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
OSHA operates a vigorous enforcement program, conducting more than 39,000 inspections in fiscal year 2007 and exceeding its inspection goals in each of the last eight years. In fiscal year 2007, OSHA found more than 89,000 violations of its standards and regulations.
Employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces 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 www.osha.gov.
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