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OSHA News Release
Region 3

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Region 3 News Release: 08-1471-PHI (osha 08-205)
October 16, 2008
Contact: Leni Fortson
Phone: 215-861-5102

U.S. Labor Department's OSHA cites Allison Park, Pa., company for trench hazards

ALLISON PARK, Pa. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Sante Berarducci Inc. for alleged safety and health violations found at a Coraopolis, Pa., jobsite. The citations propose a total of $174,000 in penalties. The Allison Park contractor employs 31 people.

OSHA began its investigation on May 6, 2008, after receiving a complaint alleging employee exposure to unshored trenches as deep as 22 feet. The investigation verified the allegation, and resulted in the issuance of citations alleging four willful violations with a penalty of $168,000 and two serious violations with a penalty of $6,000.

"Sante Berarducci received repeated warnings and was well aware of the trenching hazards identified at the site, but chose not to correct them," said Robert Szymanski, director of OSHA's Pittsburgh Area Office. "It is imperative that the company take the necessary steps to eliminate these hazards to ensure its employees stay safe on the job."

Three of the alleged willful violations were due to the company's failure to protect employees working in three separate trenches from cave-in hazards. The fourth willful violation alleges the failure to provide a safe means to exit the trench. OSHA issues a willful violation when an employer exhibits plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.

The serious violations allege the company's use of unsafe alloy steel chain slings and failure to maintain a spoil pile at least 2 feet away from the edge of the trench wall. A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm is likely to result if an accident were to occur as the result of a worksite hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Sante Berarducci Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. This inspection was conducted by OSHA's Pittsburgh office; telephone 412-395-4903.

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 nearly 89,000 violations of its standards and regulations.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit


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