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OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.
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Region 4 News Release
Release Number: 04-1573-ATL (202)
Date: Mon., Sept. 20, 2004
Contact: Ken Atha       Jo Anne Burgoyne
Phone: (251) 441-6131       (404) 562-2076

OSHA Cites Auburn, Ala., Contractor for Trenching Hazards
Agency Proposes $54,000 in Penalties

MOBILE, Ala. -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Parker Building Company Inc., headquartered in Auburn, Ala., for allegedly exposing workers to willful and serious safety hazards at an Aztec Road worksite in Greenville, Ala.

"We must ensure that employers protect their workers from trenching hazards," said Ken Atha, OSHA's Mobile area director. "Trench walls can collapse quickly and without warning, trapping workers. Fortunately, we were notified of the unsafe conditions at this job site and an inspector arrived before an accident occurred."

OSHA issued one alleged willful citation to the company, with a proposed penalty of $49,000, for failing to properly shore or slope a 16-foot-deep excavation. The agency issues a willful citation when an employer has shown an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.

Parker Building also received two alleged serious citations, with proposed penalties of $5,000, for failure to train employees to recognize hazards associated with trenching and for failing to provide workers with an adequate means of entering and exiting the 120 foot by 45 foot trench. OSHA issues serious citations when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.

OSHA has a national emphasis program that allows staff to inspect any trench or excavation that appears hazardous. The national program also includes a separate compliance assistance arm to help employers and workers recognize and reduce trenching hazards.

The company has 15 days to contest the OSHA citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The worksite was inspected by OSHA's Mobile area office; 3737 Government Blvd., Suite 100; phone (251) 441-6131.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Labor'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. 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


U.S. Labor Department (DOL) releases are accessible on the Internet at <>. 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

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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