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OSHA News Release
Region 4

Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.
Region 4 News Release: 06-1156-ATL (136)
Date: July 11, 2006
Contact: Bob Vazzi Dan Fuqua
Phone: (251) 441-6131 (404) 562-2078

OSHA Cites Montgomery, Ala., Company for Trenching Hazards at Daphne Work Site
Proposed Penalties Total $59,100

MOBILE, Ala. -- The U.S. Department of Labor¿s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Montgomery-based W.S. Newell Inc. with proposed penalties totaling $59,100, following a trenching safety inspection at a Daphne, Ala., work site.

"Trench safety standards must be followed to protect workers from potential cave-in hazards," said Ken Nishiyama-Atha, OSHA¿s area director in Mobile. "Trenching remains one of the most hazardous jobs in construction, and it¿s our goal to ensure that workers are safe."

The agency issued one willful citation to the company with a proposed penalty of $49,500, alleging that employees were allowed to work in a 12-foot-deep excavation without an adequate protective system and without properly sloped trench walls.

The company also received four serious citations with proposed penalties totaling $9,600 for alleged violations of safety and health standards, including failing to properly train employees; allowing workers in the trench without head protection; improper support of underground installations; and inappropriate use of ladders.

OSHA issues a willful citation when an employer has shown an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations. Serious citations are issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew or should have known of the hazards.

The company has 15 days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. OSHA¿s Mobile area office conducted the inspection. The office is located at 1141 Montlimar Drive, Suite 1006, phone (251) 441-6131.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, 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 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


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