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Department of Labor Logo OSHA News Release - Region 4

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Region 4 News Release: 07-1332-ATL (240)
Sept. 10, 2007
Contact: Dan Fuqua Michael Wald
Phone: (404) 562-2078 (404) 562-2076

U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA proposes $83,700 in fines against Callaway Contracting Inc. after trenching fatality in Seminole, Fla.
Inspection finds willful violation by Jacksonville, Fla.-based utility contractor

TAMPA, Fla. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed penalties of $83,700 against Callaway Contracting Inc. of Jacksonville, Fla., for six alleged willful and serious safety violations. OSHA's investigation followed a fatal injury that occurred at a Seminole, Fla., construction site in April when a backhoe rolled into a trench and struck an employee.

'This company failed to take the basic steps needed to ensure that employees were protected from trenching hazards,' said Les Grove, OSHA's area director in Tampa. 'Trenching remains one of the most hazardous jobs in construction, and employers must act to prevent the errors that occurred on this site.'

A willful safety violation, with a proposed penalty of $63,000, was issued for failing to install a trench box to protect employees from a possible cave-in. 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.

The five serious safety violations, with proposed penalties of $20,700, included the backhoe operator's failure to wear a seatbelt, operating a backhoe with an inoperable horn and back-up alarm, using a chain sling without identification tags, and not protecting employees from excavated materials or equipment falling into the trench.

The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to contest them and the proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's area office in Tampa, 5807 Breckenridge Parkway, Suite A; telephone (813) 626-1177.

OSHA's mission is to assure the safety and health of America's working men and women by preventing injuries, illnesses and fatalities. The agency has a vigorous enforcement program, having conducted more than 38,000 inspections last year and exceeding its inspection goals in each of the last seven years. In fiscal year 2006, OSHA found nearly 84,000 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 sets and enforces standards; provides training, outreach and education; establishes partnerships; and encourages continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit


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