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OSHA News Release – Region 4
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 4 News Release ATL: 03-83
Mon., May 5, 2003
Andre Richards Jo Anne Burgoyne
(770) 984-8700 (404) 562-2076
Agency Proposes $45,750 in Penalties
ATLANTA -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Strack, Inc., for exposing workers to trenching hazards at an Acworth job site. The agency is proposing $45,750 in penalties.
OSHA began an inspection of the Cedarcrest Road worksite on March 7, after inspectors observed the pipeline company's employees working at the bottom of a manhole, part of a trench with depths up to 12 feet. According to the inspectors, a trench box, which would have protected the workers, stood 100 feet from the excavation.
The agency's national emphasis program on trenching and excavation allowed for an immediate inspection.
"Fortunately, the hazards at this worksite were corrected before any workers were injured. Cave-ins occur quickly and without warning; then it's too late to protect workers," said, Andre Richards, OSHA's Atlanta-West area director.
OSHA issued one willful citation with a proposed penalty of $44,000 for failing to use a trench box or other means to protect workers from cave-ins.
The company also received one serious safety violation with a proposed penalty of $1,750 for failing to inspect the excavation and provide appropriate protective equipment before allowing workers to enter the manhole.
OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations. A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
The company has 15 working days to contest OSHA citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The work site was inspected by OSHA's Atlanta-West area office located at 2400 Herodian Way, Suite 250, Smyrna; telephone: (770) 984-8700.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses, and protecting America's workers. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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