Region 3 News Release: 10-1500-PHI (osha 10-213)
Nov. 1, 2010
Contact: Leni Fortson
US Labor Department's OSHA cites Newport, Del.,
construction company for exposing workers to trenching hazards
NEWPORT, Del. — The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Daisy Construction Co. for alleged trenching hazards found at a Dover, Del., worksite. Proposed penalties total $67,000.
OSHA initiated an inspection after being notified of a potential imminent danger while workers were installing utility lines. As a result of the inspection, the company was cited for two willful violations with a $63,000 penalty and one serious violation with a $4,000 penalty.
"Excavation is recognized as one of the most hazardous construction operations. However, cave-ins are easily avoided when the proper precautions are taken," said Domenick Salvatore, director of OSHA's Wilmington Area Office. "By bypassing necessary safeguards, the company left its workers at risk of serious injury and possible death."
The willful violations were due to the company's failure to provide employees working in an excavation with an adequate protective system to prevent cave-ins and to prevent employees from working in an unprotected trench. Willful violations are those committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for legal requirements, or plain indifference to employee safety and health.
The serious violation was due to the company's failure to instruct employees on how to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions. OSHA issues a serious citation when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.
To read detailed information on excavation hazards and safeguards, visit OSHA's website at http://220.127.116.11/SLTC/trenchingexcavation/index.html.
Daisy Construction Co. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, meet with the OSHA area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. This inspection was conducted by OSHA's Wilmington Area Office; telephone 302-347-5937. To report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
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 assure 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 releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit http://www.dol.gov/compliance.