US Labor Department's OSHA cites S & S Plumbing for exposing
workers to potential trenching hazards at Hot Springs, Ark., worksite
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited S & S Plumbing Inc. of Percy, Ark., with safety violations following an inspection at the company's worksite on Central Avenue in Hot Springs. Proposed penalties total $46,975.
"Employers must implement safeguards against cave-ins when working in trenches to prevent injury or even death," said Carlos Reynolds, area director of OSHA's Little Rock Area Office. "It is fortunate in this case that no one was injured.¿
OSHA's Little Rock Area Office began its investigation on June 16 after an agency inspector observed an employee working on installing storm drains at the company's worksite in Hot Springs. The investigation yielded a willful citation for not properly shoring or benching an excavation. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.
OSHA issued three serious violations for failing to provide training on hazards associated with excavation cave-ins, to ensure employees were wearing the required personal protective equipment and to provide a ladder for egress during excavation activities. A serious violation is one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Little Rock, Ark., or contest the 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 Little Rock Area Office at 501-224-1841. To report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (321-6742).
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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