US Labor Department's OSHA cites Jimmie Crowder Excavating and Land
Clearing in Tallahassee, Fla., for endangering workers
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. ¿ The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Jimmie Crowder Excavating and Land Clearing Inc. of Tallahassee, Fla., with one willful and two serious safety violations that occurred in June at a Tallahassee worksite. Proposed penalties total $42,000.
"This company endangered workers' lives by trading safety for a quicker and less expensive means of excavating a trench," said James Borders, OSHA's area director in Jacksonville.
An OSHA compliance officer found that the company was digging an 8-foot-deep trench for a drain pipe without sloping the sides of the trench to prevent a cave-in or using a protective trench box and shoring. The foreman at the site allegedly chose not to slope the sides of the trench because of the additional time and effort it would take to enlarge the excavation.
OSHA is issuing one willful violation with a proposed penalty of $38,500. The agency defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.
Two serious violations with $3,500 in proposed penalties are being issued against the company for not training employees to recognize the hazards of working in a trench, and for placing excavated soil less than 2 feet from the trench edge, allowing for a potential cave-in.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Jacksonville Area Office, 1851 Executive Center Drive, Suite 227, Jacksonville, FL 32207; telephone 904-232-2895. To report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-6742.
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 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.
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