OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Region 6 News Release: OSHA-04-686-DAL L
Tue, April 20, 2004
Contact: Diana Petterson or Elizabeth Todd
Phone: (214) 767-4776, ext. 222 or 221
BATON ROUGE, La. -- A Baton Rouge construction company's alleged failure to protect employees from trenching and excavation hazards has resulted in proposed penalties of $65,000 from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Boone Services Inc., a water and sewer excavation contractor that employs about 60 workers was issued citations for alleged willful, serious and repeat safety violations following an OSHA inspection that began Feb. 17 at the company's Baton Rouge worksite.
The alleged willful violation was issued for failing to protect employees from the hazards of a cave-in while installing concrete drainage piping at the base of a 7-foot-deep trench. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with intentional disregard of or plain indifference to the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
Two alleged serious violations were issued for failing to prohibit employees to stand underneath a suspended load of concrete pipe and for failing to train and instruct employees in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions associated with trenching and excavations. A serious violation is one that could cause death or serious physical harm to employees and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
One alleged repeat violation was issued for failing to provide employees with a safe means of access and egress from the trench. The company should have provided a ladder or ramp. A repeat violation is defined as a violation that was previously cited where, upon re-inspection, a substantially similar violation is found. Boone Services was fined $700 as a result of OSHA's inspection on May 28, 2003, for the same violation.
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the Baton Rouge area director, or to contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call the Baton Rouge OSHA area office at (225) 298-5458 or, OSHA's toll-free hotline number at 1-800-321-6742 to report workplace accidents, fatalities, or situations posing imminent danger to workers.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is dedicated to saving lives and promoting safety and health for America's workers. In fiscal year 2003, OSHA conducted almost 40,000 inspections and more than half focused on high-hazard industries. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at <http://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 http://www.dol.gov/compliance.
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