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OSHA News Release – Region 6
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 6 News Release: OSHA-04-903-DAL
Thurs., May 20, 2004
Contact: Diana Petterson or Elizabeth Todd
Phone: (214) 767-4776, ext. 222 or 221
BATON ROUGE, La. -- A local construction company's alleged failure to protect employees from potential trenching and excavation hazards has resulted in proposed penalties of $45,900 from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Rad-Ton Inc., a water and sewer excavation contractor that employs about 30 workers, was issued citations for alleged willful, serious and repeat safety violations following an OSHA inspection. The inspection began March 26 at the company's Baton Rouge worksite, where OSHA investigators observed many unsafe conditions at the construction site.
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 9.5-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.
An alleged serious violation was issued 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 such as providing 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. Rad-Ton, Inc. was fined $1,125 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 U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted almost 40,000 inspections in fiscal year 2003, an increase of more than 2,000 over FY 2002 inspection levels; more than half focused on high-hazard industries. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department news releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov.
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