Region 9 News Release: 07-804-SAN (SF-61)
June 11, 2007
Contact: Roger Gayman
Phone: (415) 625-2631
Employer cited for one willful, three serious safety breaches
SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited a construction company for alleged safety violations during work at the Asan Pump Station site in Asan, Guam, following an inspection last December.
OSHA cited Guam-based Fargo Pacific Inc. for one willful violation, with proposed penalties of $42,000, for failing to provide adequate cave-in protection. A willful violation is one committed with intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations. OSHA has cited the employer repeatedly in the past, issuing 77 serious and 13 repeat violations.
OSHA also assessed a total of $7,200 in proposed penalties for three serious violations for failing to provide safe means of egress for employees working in a 12-foot deep, 33-foot long trench; failing to prevent materials falling into the trench while employees worked; and failing to inspect the excavations daily. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
"Fargo Pacific failed to follow basic safety and health requirements for its employees," said Christopher Lee, acting regional administrator for OSHA in San Francisco. "Lack of compliance with OSHA rules, such as the violations our inspector witnessed, poses the threat of serious injury or death to one or more of the employees."
Fargo Pacific, headquartered in Tamuning, Guam, has 15 working days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request and participate in an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.