Feb. 28, 2008
Contact: Dan Fuqua Michael Wald
Phone: 404-562-2078 404-562-2076
Agency cites company for alleged willful and serious safety violations
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $155,000 in penalties against John Carlo Inc. for two alleged willful and three alleged serious violations uncovered during an inspection of a company construction site in Naples, Fla.
OSHA issued two willful violations against the company with $140,000 in proposed penalties for failing to provide cave-in protection to employees working inside an excavation that contained unstable soil, and allowing excess soil to be placed too close to the edge of the trench wall. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.
Three serious violations with proposed penalties totaling $15,000 were issued to address deficiencies in the employer's training program, employee exposure to hazards from ductile iron pipe being lifted overhead, and employees using a ladder that was too short on an unstable surface. A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
"Having employees work unprotected in a deep trench with unstable soil is a recipe for disaster," said Darlene Fossum, OSHA's area director in Fort Lauderdale. "Being behind schedule is no excuse for gambling with employees' safety."
The company has 15 business days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Fort Lauderdale Area Office, 8040 Peters Road, Building H-100, telephone 954-424-0242.
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.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at 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 www.dol.gov/compliance.