US Department of Labor's OSHA fines Philadelphia plumbing and heating
company more than $40,000 for workplace safety hazards
PHILADELPHIA – The U.S Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited DG Barrett Plumbing and Heating for three repeat and four serious violations, including excavation hazards, found while the company was installing a sewer line at a Philadelphia residence. OSHA's October 2012 investigation was initiated in response to a complaint alleging imminent danger and as part of the agency's national emphasis program on trenching and excavation. Proposed penalties total $40,480.
The repeat violations, with a $36,960 penalty, include the lack of a protective system for workers in an excavation, lack of barrier for the spoil pile and inadequate training regarding the hazards associated with excavation activity. A repeat violation is issued when an employer previously has been cited for the same or similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations were cited in August 2011 and July 2012.
The serious violations resulted in a $3,520 penalty for the company's failure to provide a hazard communication program, including information and training to workers on the hazards associated with the use of lead to seal pipe joints, and failure to provide head protection in an excavation. 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.
"This company continues to disregard OSHA's rules on using protective systems while performing excavating activities," said Domenick Salvatore, director of OSHA's Philadelphia Area Office. "These violations can cause serious harm to workers and must be corrected as soon as possible."
Detailed information on trenching and excavation safety is available at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/trenchingexcavation/index.html.
D.G. Barrett Plumbing and Heating has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director in Philadelphia, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Philadelphia Area Office at 215-597-4955.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.