US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Alabama-based
Brendle Sprinkler Co. for exposing workers to cave-in, other hazards
More than $68,000 proposed in fines
AUBURN, Ala. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Brendle Sprinkler Co. Inc. of Montgomery with three safety violations that occurred while the company was installing a fire suppression system at the McDonald's on Opelika Road in Auburn. Penalties total $68,530.
OSHA inspectors have cited one willful violation, with a penalty of $61,600, for failing to provide a cave-in protection system while employees were working in a trench greater than 5 feet deep. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
The company also has been cited for two serious violations, with $6,930 in penalties, for failing to ensure that employees were wearing hard hats when overhead hazards existed as well as to provide employees with a safe means to enter and exit the excavation. 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 knows the OSHA rules for excavations and trenching but chose to cut corners to save time, exposing workers to potential injury or death," said Kurt Petermeyer, OSHA's area director in Mobile.
Detailed information on hazards and safeguards related to trenching and excavation is available online at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/trenchingexcavation/index.html.
The company installs sprinkler and fire suppression systems in Alabama, Florida and Georgia. It has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by OSHA's Mobile Area Office, 1141 Montlimar Drive, Suite 1006, Mobile, Ala. 36609; telephone 251-441-6131. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (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 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.