Jan. 25, 2008
Contact: Dan Fuqua Michael Wald
Phone: 404-562-2078 404-562-2076
OSHA proposes $50,000 in penaltie
ATLANTA -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $50,000 in penalties against Northern Pipeline Construction Co. for two repeat safety violations.
The violations occurred as the company was relocating gas main lines in Cumming, Ga., under contract to Atlanta Gas Light Resources as part of a Georgia Department of Transportation project.
OSHA inspectors found that the Fairburn, Ga., utility contractor was installing pipe through a trench that was 50 feet in length and 6 feet in depth without a means of employee egress and without having a protective system in place. OSHA cited the company in 2006 for similar violations that occurred while it was installing a tap in a trench that was 7 to 8 feet in depth.
"Trenching and excavating remains one of the most hazardous construction operations," said Gei-Thae Breezley, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office. "No employee should be exposed to the danger of trench collapse."
Northern Pipeline Construction Co. has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to request and participate in an informal conference with OSHA or to contest them and the proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office, 2183 Northlake Parkway, Building 7, Suite 110, Tucker, Ga.; telephone 770-493-6644.
Additional information on OSHA's National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation is available at www.osha.gov/SLTC/trenchingexcavation/index.html.
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 safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure 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 www.osha.gov.
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