OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Region 1 USDL 04-218-BOS /BOS 2004-036
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
Contact: : John M. Chavez
Phone: (617) 565-2075
CONCORD, N.H. -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined a Dorchester, Mass., excavation contractor $25,200 for failure to supply cave-in protection for its workers at a Pembroke, N.H., jobsite.
Feeney Bros. Excavation Corp. has been cited for alleged repeat and serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act following an OSHA inspection at a gas line installation site on Keith Ave. OSHA's inspection found six employees working in a trench up to 8.5 feet in depth that was not protected against a collapse of its sidewalls.
"A trench can collapse suddenly and with great force, burying workers beneath tons of soil before they have a chance to react or escape," said David May, OSHA's New Hampshire area director. "That's why it's imperative that excavations five feet or more in depth be protected against collapse."
A repeat citation, carrying a $21,000 fine, was issued for the lack of cave-in protection. OSHA issues a repeat citation when an employer has previously been cited for a substantially similar hazard and the citation has become final. In this case, Feeney Bros. had been cited in Aug. 2002 and Oct. 2003 for similar hazards at jobsites in Cambridge and Dorchester, Mass.
A serious citation was issued for storing excavated material less than two feet from the edges of the excavation, a condition that could weaken the trench's sidewalls. An additional fine of $4,200 is proposed for this violation. OSHA defines a serious violation is one in which there is 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 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to either elect to comply with them, to request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
The inspection was conducted by the OSHA's Concord 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 the health and safety of America's workers. In fiscal year 2003, OSHA conducted 39,817 inspections, a nearly six percent increase over fiscal year 2002. More information is available at 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 at (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.
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