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Region 1 BOS 2003-286/03-623-BOS
Monday, October 27, 2003
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074


Cave-In Hazard at White Mountain Highway Worksite Leads to $44,000 in Fines for New Hampshire Contractor

CONCORD, N.H. -- A Windham, N.H. contractor's failure to safeguard workers against potentially fatal cave-in hazards at a Conway jobsite has resulted in citations and fines from the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

On Sept. 11, 2003, George Cairns & Sons, Inc. was replacing water lines at the intersection of the White Mountain Highway (Route 16) and Amethyst Road in Conway, when an OSHA inspector observed a Cairns & Sons employee working in a seven- to ten-foot deep excavation that was not sloped or shored against a collapse of its sidewalls.

OSHA has cited the company for an alleged willful violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act for its failure to supply required collapse protection and proposed a $44,000 fine. This marks the fourth time since 1994 that Cairns & Sons has been cited for a willful trenching violation. 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.

"Unprotected excavations are among the deadliest hazards in construction work. They can collapse without warning, burying workers beneath tons of soil before they can escape," said David May, OSHA's New Hampshire area director. "An employer's repeated failure to give workers the safeguards against cave-ins that safety standards require is unacceptable and will not be tolerated."

George A. Cairns & Sons, Inc. has elected to contest its citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

The inspection was conducted by the OSHA's Concord, N.H., area office. The telephone number is (603) 225-1629.

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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The information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (617) 565-2072. TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) Message Referral Phone: 800-347-8029.


Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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