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Region 4 News Release
Release Number: 04-1504-ATL (166)
Date: Friday, August 6, 2004
Contact: John Deifer         Jo Anne Burgoyne
Phone: (912) 652-4393       (404) 562-2076


OSHA Cites Company Involved in Valdosta Highway Work Zone Fatality
Agency Proposes $89,000 in Penalties

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited United Rentals Highway Technologies Inc. and proposed penalties totaling $89,000 for failure to provide employees with safety protection while working on a highway near Valdosta, Ga.

"Employers must protect employees from highway traffic hazards," said John Deifer, OSHA's Savannah area director. "The penalty in this case demonstrates the department's commitment to protecting the health and safety of these workers."

OSHA's investigation found that on Feb. 9, 2004, a United Rental employee was struck by a vehicle and seriously injured as he and two other workers painted surface markers between a turn lane into the entrance of a golf club and a State Highway 84-West traffic lane. The employee died from his injuries on Feb. 15.

The company received one alleged willful citation, with a proposed maximum penalty of $70,000, for failing to post motorist-warning signs that indicate drivers are approaching a work zone. The company had been cited previously for similar violations.

OSHA also issued two alleged serious citations, with proposed penalties of $14,000, for the company's failure to use proper flagging equipment, such as red flags or paddles, when workers directed traffic; and for failure to provide traffic control devices, such as barricades, around the work zone areas. The agency issued an additional citation, with a proposed penalty of $5,000, because it was not notified of the fatality within the required eight-hour period.

The company has 15 working days to contest the OSHA citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Staff from the Savannah area office, located at 450 Mall Blvd., Suite J; phone: (912) 652-4393, conducted the investigation.

OSHA has a program to help employers reduce accidents in work zone areas and has formed an alliance with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and members of The Roadway Work Zone Safety and Health Coalition to develop training and education programs for employers and workers.

OSHA's mission is to assure the safety and health of American'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.


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U.S. Labor Department (DOL) 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. Call (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. DOL 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.


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

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