Date: June 26, 2006
Contact: John Deifer Dan Fuqua
Phone: (912) 652-4393 (404) 562-2078
SAVANNAH, Ga. -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Savannah-based D & R Utility Construction, and proposed penalties totaling $105,000, following a trenching safety inspection at a Pooler, Ga., worksite.
"OSHA's safety standards must be followed to protect workers from potential cave-in hazards," said John J. Deifer, OSHA's area director in Savannah. "Trenching remains one of the most hazardous jobs in construction. It's fortunate that no one was injured."
D & R Utility Construction was cited with two alleged willful and one alleged repeat violations following the inspection by OSHA's Savannah area office which began Jan. 25. The inspection found several instances where workers were exposed to hazardous cave-in conditions.
The two willful citations were issued for failing to protect employees working in a 7-foot deep trench with adequate cave-in protection and for permitting employees to work in an area where excavated soil was placed at the edge of the trench. OSHA standards require that the soil be placed at least 2-feet from the edge of a trench. OSHA issues willful citations when employers have shown intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.
Additionally, one repeat citation was issued for failing to provide employees with required head protection while working in a trench with overhead hazardous conditions. The company had been cited previously for a similar violation. A repeat citation is issued when an employer has previously been cited for a similar hazard and that citation has become a final order.
D & R Utility Construction has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Employers and employees with questions about workplace safety and health can contact OSHA's Savannah area office at (912) 652-4393. A toll-free hotline may be used to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers. The hotline number is (800) 321-6742.
Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health.
U.S. Labor Department (DOL) releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The U.S. Department of Labor 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.