US Labor Department's OSHA cites Dell Services Federal Government
for exposing workers to unsafe conditions at Rock Island Arsenal
Army contractor faces proposed fines of $140,000
ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Dell Services Federal Government Inc., a telecommunications contractor for the Network Enterprise Center at the U.S. Army's Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois, with four safety violations for unsafe telecommunication vault entry. Proposed penalties for two willful violations total $140,000.
"Dell Services Federal Government showed intentional disregard for employee safety by allowing its employees to enter telecommunications vaults without following the appropriate precautions," said OSHA Area Director Tom Bielema in Peoria. "Employers are responsible for knowing what hazards exist in their work spaces and following OSHA standards to ensure that workers are protected from those hazards."
The willful violations, with proposed penalties of $140,000, were cited following a December 2010 inspection for failing to test the atmosphere of the telecommunications vault prior to allowing an employee to enter, and to train employees in conducting air monitoring in telecommunications vaults and on acceptable entry conditions. 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.
Two other-than-serious violations with no penalties also were also cited for failing to keep a separate OSHA 300 log of workplace-related illness and injuries for each establishment that has been in operation more than one year and to provide copies of the log to an authorized representative within four hours of a request. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
Dell Services Federal Government has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's Peoria Area Office at 309-589-7033. 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.
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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.