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OSHA Regional News Brief
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Region 4


Please note: As of January 20, 2017, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.

 

Dec. 9, 2015

 

OSHA cites Vallencourt for exposing workers to cave-in hazards while
installing water and sewer lines in Jacksonville

Employer name: Vallencourt Inc.

Inspection site: Pennsylvania Avenue, Jacksonville, Florida 32207

Citations issued: On Dec. 8, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations to Vallencourt for one willful and one serious safety violation. Vallencourt is a general contracting company, and the inspection was initiated as part of the agency's National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation.

Investigation findings: OSHA issued the employer a willful citation for allowing employees to work in a 7-foot deep excavation without cave-in protection, while installing new water and sewer lines. OSHA requires that all trenches and excavation sites 5-feet or deeper be protected against sidewall collapses. Protection may be provided through shoring of trench walls, sloping of the soil at a shallow angle or by using a protective trench box. The serious violation was cited for the employer's failure to provide proper lifting equipment.

Proposed penalties: $53,900

Quote: "An unprotected trench or excavation can collapse suddenly without any warning, resulting in serious or fatal injuries," said Brian Sturtecky, OSHA's area director in Jacksonville. "There is no justification for an employer to risk worker safety when they know the dangers they are exposing their workers to, but choose to ignore them."

The citations can be viewed at: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/VallencourtInc_1098234.pdf

Vallencourt has 15 business days from receipt of its 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.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Jacksonville Area Office at 904-232-2895.

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Media Contacts:

Michael D'Aquino, 678-237-0630, d'aquino.michael@dol.gov
Lindsay Williams, 678-237-0630, williams.lindsay.l@dol.gov

Release Number: 15-2313-ATL (388)


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