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OSHA News Release
Region 4

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Region 4 News Release: 06-1660-ATL (207)
Date: Thursday, September 28, 2006
Contact: Andre Richards Jo Anne Burgoyne
Phone: (770) 984-8700 (404) 562-2076

U.S. Labor Department's OSHA Cites Lithonia, Ga. Company for Trenching Hazards at Smyrna, Ga. Job Site

ATLANTA -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Mid-South Builders for allegedly exposing workers to trenching hazards at Cooper Lake Drive and Atlanta Road in Smyrna, Ga. The agency is proposing a $40,000 fine.

"This company was cited in March 2002 and August 2002, and again in March 2004, for exposing employees to trenching hazards. Unsafe conditions were observed this year in April at the Smyrna site," said Andre Richards, OSHA's Atlanta-West area director.

Richards said that an OSHA inspector met with a company representative at the site and discussed safe trenching and excavation practices. Several days later, the inspector returned and found two employees working in the unsafe excavation, where a concrete vault was to be installed.

The company received one willful citation with a $40,000 proposed penalty for allowing employees to work in a 6-foot-deep trench without proper cave-in protection, such as proper sloping or shoring of the vertical walls, or the use of a trench box.

The Lithonia, Ga., company has 15 working days to contest the latest citation and proposed penalty before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Atlanta-West area office, 2400 Herodian Way, Suite 250, Smyrna, Ga., phone (770) 984-8700.

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 about trenching safety and other safe work practices, visit


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