Region 7 News Release: OSHA 09-57-KAN
Jan. 23, 2009
Contact: Jeremy Eggers
Agency issues more than $100,000 in proposed penalties against company
OMAHA, Neb. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Anderson Construction, Papillion, Neb., for violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and has proposed $111,600 in penalties against the company.
OSHA cited the company, a licensed water and sewer pipe installation contractor, following an investigation in the wake of a trench collapse that injured five workers. The investigation found three alleged willful and six alleged serious violations of the act.
"Working in unprotected trenches and excavations can be deadly work," said Charles Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "Anderson Construction needs to make changes immediately to correct the identified violations."
The alleged willful violations stem from the company's failure to provide a safe means of access to the trench, leaving the excavated spoil pile on the trench edge, and for failure to provide a cave-in protection system where the trench collapsed on the employees. OSHA issues a willful violation when an employer exhibits plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.
The alleged serious violations stem from failing to instruct employees about hazards inherent to the work performed and chemicals used at the worksite. The company also failed to address the procedures for and necessity of testing confined space air content. Furthermore, trench shoring equipment and a ladder were used improperly at other locations within the trench. OSHA issues a serious citation when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard that an employer knew or should have known about.
Anderson Construction has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The investigation was conducted by OSHA's area office in Omaha.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote 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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