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Region 5


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Region 5 News Release: 10-1610-CHI
Nov. 30, 2010
Contact: Rhonda Burke Scott Allen
Phone: 312-353-6976 312-353-6976
E-mail: burke.rhonda@dol.gov allen.scott@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA fines Ohio-based Mikesell Excavating
more than $49,000 for failure to provide cave-in protection for workers

NEW PARIS, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Mikesell Excavating Inc., an excavating contractor located in New Paris, with one alleged willful and two serious safety violations for failing to protect workers from cave-ins during trenching operations at a jobsite located in Hamilton, Ohio. The company faces proposed penalties of $49,200.

"Cave-in accidents are a leading cause of worker fatalities during excavations. Failing to protect workers from cave-ins during trenching operations is simply unacceptable," said OSHA Area Director Dick Gilgrist in Cincinnati, Ohio. "Proper training of workers and worksite inspections are the keys to reducing these risks. OSHA will do all we can to protect workers by enforcing regulations."

The company was issued one willful citation for failing to properly protect workers from trench cave-ins as a result of an October inspection. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements or plain indifference to employee safety and health.

Mikesell Excavating Inc. also was issued two alleged serious violations for failing to train workers on proper safety regulations and to have worksites inspected by trained personnel. An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm can result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.

OSHA standards mandate that all excavations 5 feet or deeper be protected against collapse. Detailed information on trenching and excavation hazards is available on OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/trenchingexcavation/index.html.

The company has filed a notice of contest of its proposed citations and penalties, before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's Cincinnati Area Office at 513-684-3721. To report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA'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 assure 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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