December 5, 2007
Contact: Scott Allen or Brad Mitchell
Federal agency proposes $117,000 in penalties against Ohio business
KITTS HILL, Ohio -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $117,000 in fines against Fields Excavating Inc. of Kitts Hill, Ohio, for alleged willful violations of federal workplace safety standards.
As a result of an inspection, OSHA issued citations for three willful violations alleging the company failed to provide proper cave-in protection to employees working in a trench that was 10 feet deep, failed to keep excavated material at least two feet from the edge of the trench and failed to properly install trench shields.
"Injuries, fatalities and cave-ins at excavation sites are preventable," said Richard Gilgrist, OSHA's area director in Cincinnati. "Employers must remain dedicated to keeping the workplace safe and healthful or face intense OSHA scrutiny."
OSHA has inspected Fields Excavating Inc. 11 times since 1999, with the company receiving numerous citations from past inspections. Fields Excavating, which employs 40 people, specializes in trenching and excavation operations and water and sewer construction in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia.
Fields Excavating Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to request and participate in an informal conference with OSHA or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
OSHA operates a vigorous enforcement program, conducting more than 39,000 inspections in fiscal year 2007 and exceeding its inspection goals in each of the last eight years. In fiscal year 2007, OSHA found more than 89,000 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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