Feb. 19, 2008
Contact: Dan Fuqua Michael Wald
Phone: 404-562-2078 404-562-2076
ATLANTA -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $69,500 in penalties against Bowlin Grading for alleged willful, repeat and serious safety violations.
OSHA cited the construction contractor after inspecting the company's East Point, Ga., construction site where employees were installing a new storm drainage system.
The company was cited with an alleged willful violation and a $49,500 proposed penalty after finding that a supervisor allowed employees to work in an unprotected 13-foot deep trench. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.
"Trench cave-ins can occur very quickly, and employees working in deep trenches need a shoring or shielding system. Simply assigning employees to keep watch for signs of soil collapse is insufficient," said Andre Richards, director of OSHA's Atlanta-West Area Office.
One alleged repeat violation carrying an $8,000 proposed penalty was issued for failing to train employees to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions, such as the hazards of a cave-in. The company had been cited for a similar violation in 2006.
Three alleged serious violations with $12,000 in proposed penalties were cited: allowing a damaged portable ladder to be used on unstable ground while not training employees to recognize and avoid the associated hazards.
The Williamson, Ga., company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to contest the violations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Atlanta-West Area Office, 2400 Herodian Way, Suite 250, Smyrna, Ga.; telephone 770-984-8700.
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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