US Dept of Labor

Occupational Safety & Health AdministrationWe Can Help

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.
Trade News Release Banner Image


Region 4 News Release
Release Number: USDL 03-631-ATL (12)
Thurs., Jan. 15, 2004
Contact: Roberto Sanchez     Jo Anne Burgoyne
Phone: (205) 731-1534       (404) 562-2076


OSHA Again Cites Bessemer Contractor For Exposing Workers To Trenching Hazards
$96,000 in Penalties Proposed

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Richards & Sons Construction Company, Inc., for exposing workers to trenching hazards at a Bessemer, Ala., construction site. The agency is proposing $96,000 in penalties.

OSHA began an inspection of the Academy Drive work site on Sept. 9, as part of the agency's national emphasis program to prevent trenching accidents, a leading cause of worker deaths and injuries.

"Trenches can collapse quickly and without warning, so employers must take steps to protect workers at these worksites," said Roberto Sanchez, OSHA's Birmingham area director. "Fortunately, inspectors arrived at the site before a cave-in occurred, yet this company is facing tough penalties because of citations for repeated violations."

OSHA has found Richards & Sons in violation of the trenching standard at various job sites over the past few years. The company received three "repeat" citations with proposed penalties totaling $88,000 for: failing to have a competent person to conduct daily inspections of the excavation before allowing workers to enter the area; failing to protect workers from cave-ins by properly shoring or sloping trench walls or providing trench boxes; and for allowing excavated materials to accumulate at the edge of the excavation.

OSHA also issued serious citations with a proposed penalty of $8,000 for failing to provide: employees with a safe means of entering and exiting the trench; and failing to protect wire rope used for lifting, from being damaged.

The agency issues a repeat citation when an employer has been cited previously for a substantially similar condition and the citation has become a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. A serious citation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.

The company has 15 working days to contest the OSHA citations and proposed penalties before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The construction site was inspected by OSHA's Birmingham area office located at 2047 Canyon Rd; phone: (205) 731-1534.

The office has a compliance assistance specialist, separate and distinct from the agency's enforcement program, to assist employers in complying with trenching and excavation regulations.

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.


###

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

Thank You for Visiting Our Website

You are exiting the Department of Labor's Web server.

The Department of Labor does not endorse, takes no responsibility for, and exercises no control over the linked organization or its views, or contents, nor does it vouch for the accuracy or accessibility of the information contained on the destination server. The Department of Labor also cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked Web sites. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked Web site. Thank you for visiting our site. Please click the button below to continue.

Close