Region 3 News Release: 10-1608-PHI (osha 10-224)
Nov. 30, 2010
Contact: Joanna Hawkins
US Labor Department's OSHA cites Chambersburg, Pa.,
excavation company for trenching hazards
CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited David H. Martin Excavating Inc. in Chambersburg for alleged trenching hazards found on a highway worksite in Roxbury, Pa. Proposed penalties total $63,000.
OSHA initiated an inspection after being notified that workers installing water main piping were being exposed to a cave-in while working in an unprotected trench. As a result of the inspection, the company was cited for one willful violation with a $63,000 penalty. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
"When sudden cave-ins occur, unprotected trenches can become death traps," said Kevin Kilp, director of OSHA's Harrisburg Area Office in Pennsylvania. "The company bypassed necessary safeguards, leaving its workers at risk of serious injury and possible death."
OSHA standards mandate that all excavations 5 feet or deeper be protected against collapse. Detailed information on trenching and excavation hazards is available on OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/trenchingexcavation/index.html.
David H. Martin Excavating Inc. 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 Harrisburg Area Office; telephone 717-782-3902. 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.