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OSHA News Release – Region 10
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 10 News Release: #04-54
Date: May 4, 2004
Contact: Jeannine Lupton
SEATTLE -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued serious and willful citations to Rockwell Development Corp., of Idaho Falls, Idaho, for trenching and excavation violations found during inspections of the company's Centennial and Woodland Hills subdivisions construction sites in Ammon, Idaho. The citations carry proposed penalties totaling $60,500.
"Trenching is dangerous work and worker safety must be a top priority," said Richard Terrill, OSHA's regional director in Seattle. "The hazards found on this job must be effectively addressed to prevent death or serious injuries."
The willful citations allege several instances where a management official and his crew entered trenches that were inadequately sloped or shored, and the employer did not ensure that workers were protected from cave-ins by use of an adequate protective system.
The serious citations noted the following alleged violations: lack of appropriately located means of egress for trench workers; lack of worker protection from excavation equipment and materials such as soil from spoil piles; lack of daily trench inspections by staff trained to recognize trench hazards; and workers allowed continued exposure to cave-ins and other hazardous conditions after the conditions were identified by a manager.
Rockwell Development Corp. has 15 working days following receipt of the citations to contest the violations, and to request a meeting with OSHA to discuss the violation notices, including methods of correction and length of abatement periods, and the proposed penalties.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the OSH Act and regulations. 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.
OSHA is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses, and promoting the health and safety of America's workers. In fiscal year (FY) 2002, the most recent year for which data have been published, there was a 6.6 percent decline in work related fatalities in the U.S. In FY 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 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.
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