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Region 4 News Release
Release Number: 04-1546-ATL (197)
Date: Wed., Sept. 8, 2004
Contact: Suzanne Street       Jo Anne Burgoyne
Phone: (919) 790-8096 ext 0       (404) 562-2076


OSHA Cites Contractor for Trenching Hazards at Fort Jackson Job Site
Agency Proposes Penalties Totaling $91,000

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited maintenance contractor, Kira Inc. for exposing employees to cave-in hazards at a Fort Jackson excavation site. The agency has proposed $91,000 in total penalties.

OSHA began an inspection on March 1, after being notified of unsafe working conditions at Building 5710, where company workers were waterproofing basement and foundation walls. The agency has a national emphasis program to prevent trenching accidents, a leading cause of worker deaths and injuries.

Investigators found a section of the shoring system had collapsed and water had accumulated in the nine-foot-deep, 45-foot-long excavation.

"Fortunately, no one was trapped at this worksite," said Suzanne Street, OSHA's Columbia area director. "However, the company faces tough penalties because it willfully disregarded the safety of its employees."

OSHA issued one willful citation to the company, with a proposed penalty of $63,000, for failing to install an adequate shoring system; and, one serious citation, with a proposed penalty of $16,800, for improper installation of exit doors and trench supports, and alleged violations of machine guarding and electrical standards.

The Fort Jackson-based company also received one repeat citation, with a proposed penalty of $11,200, for failing to have a competent person conduct daily inspections of the excavation and adjacent areas and assure that hazardous conditions were abated.

The company has 15 working days to contest the OSHA citation and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Although most job safety and health inspections in the state are conducted by the South Carolina Department of Labor, federal OSHA retains jurisdiction on military posts and other federal property. Staff from the Columbia OSHA area office located in the Strom Thurman Federal Building, Room 1468, 1835 Assembly St., phone: (803) 765-5904, conducted the Fort Jackson inspection.

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. Last year, the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted almost 23,000 inspections in the construction industry, an increase of seven percent over fiscal year 2002 levels.


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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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