US Labor Department's OSHA cites MVP Piping Co. in Georgia
for exposing workers to trenching hazards; proposes penalties of $45,000
ROSSVILLE, Ga. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited MVP Piping Co. Inc. of Acworth for two trenching violations while workers were installing sewer lines along South Lake Terrace in Rossville. MVP Piping was contracted by Georgia's Catoosa County to complete phase three of the sewer project. The inspection was initiated as part of OSHA's National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation. Proposed penalties total $45,000.
A willful citation has been issued for failing to provide workers protection against cave-in hazards while they were working in a trench greater than 5 feet in depth. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or plain indifference to worker safety and health.
The company also has been cited for a serious violation regarding potential exposure of employees without head protection to falling material while they were working in a trench. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
"This employer is aware of OSHA's rules with regard to excavation and trenching but put employees' lives at risk by causing them to work in an unprotected trench," said Andre Richards, director of OSHA's Atlanta-West Area Office. "Risking the safety of workers is not a responsible business decision."
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.
MVP Piping has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Atlanta-West Area Office at 678-903-7301.
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 ensure 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 news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.