December 18, 2006
Contact: Scott Allen
Department of Labor's OSHA Proposes $112,500 in Penalties
ANTIGO, Wis. -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $112,250 in fines against Kautza Excavation LLC doing business from Antigo, Wis., for four alleged serious violations and three alleged willful violations of federal workplace safety and health standards.
OSHA opened an inspection in June 2006 after its officials observed a deep trenching operation as part of an underground water and sewer replacement project. Willful citations with proposed penalties totaling $105,000 were issued against Kautza Excavating for exposing workers to potential cave-in hazards inside the 12-foot deep trench, failing to provide a safe means of egress from the excavation and for failing to keep the spoil pile at least two feet from the edge of the trench.
Serious citations with proposed penalties totaling $7,250 were issued against the company for hazards involving safety training deficiencies, no accident prevention plan, working under loads, and failing to have a hazard communications program.
"Any one of these violations has the potential to cause serious harm or death to workers," said OSHA Area Director Melvin Lischefski. "Finding hazards and insisting they be corrected are among the best services we can perform for working men and women."
Kautza Excavating LLC had not been inspected by OSHA before this time. The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to appeal before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace 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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