Region 4 News Release: 07-1534-ATL (343)
Nov. 1, 2007
Contact: Dan Fuqua Michael Wald
Phone: 404-562-2078 404-562-2076
ATLANTA -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed penalties of $136,200 against Gary's Grading & Pipeline Co. of Monroe, Ga., for eight alleged safety violations. The inspection occurred at a company worksite in McDonough, Ga., following an incident in which an employee was injured after being struck by a rock while working in an unprotected trench.
"Trenching and excavation are among the most hazardous operations in construction, but we know how to make these operations safer ¿ if employers will follow the rules," said Gei-Thae Breezley, director of the agency's Atlanta-East Area Office. "OSHA treats this as a serious problem, and employers who continue to ignore safety standards will face increasingly stiffer penalties."
OSHA issued three repeat safety violations with $120,000 in penalties for allowing employees to work in a trench that lacked adequate cave-in protection, did not have a means of exit within 25 feet of where employees were working and had not been inspected by a competent person prior to employees entering after blasting. These violations are similar to ones cited by OSHA after a 2005 inspection of the company at a different site.
Inspectors issued three serious violations carrying penalties of $9,200 for hazards associated with not planning for a medical emergency in case of a serious injury, deviating from a manufacturer's installation instructions for a trench box and not protecting employees from a trench cave-in while installing a ladder.
The company was cited for recordkeeping violations resulting in two other-than-serious violations with penalties of $7,000.
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to contest them and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office, 2183 Northlake Parkway, Building 7, Suite 110, Tucker, Ga.; telephone (770) 493-6644.
OSHA operates a vigorous enforcement program, conducting more than 38,000 inspections in fiscal year 2006 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'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 www.osha.gov.
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