OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Region 4 News Release
Release Number: 05-1015-ATL (126)
Date: Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Contact: Ken Atha Jo Anne Burgoyne
Phone: (251) 441-6131 562-2076
MOBILE, Ala. -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Gilco Contracting Co. Inc. for exposing workers to trenching hazards at a state Route 112 worksite in Gateswood, Ala. The agency is proposing $59,000 in total penalties.
"OSHA is committed to preventing workers from being trapped in trenches, said Ken Atha, OSHA's Mobile area office director. "Employers must have adequate protective systems in place during excavations, which are among the most hazardous jobs in the construction industry."
OSHA issued one willful citation to Gilco, with a proposed penalty of $49,000, for failing to provide employees working in an eight-foot-deep trench with a protective system, such as properly sloping, benching, shoring the trench walls, or using a trench box. A willful citation is issued when a company has shown intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.
The company also received four serious citations, with proposed penalties totaling $10,000, for failing to: provide a ladder or other adequate means for employees to enter and exit a trench; have a designated competent person on site to inspect for any changes in trench conditions; train employees in safe trenching practices, including hazard recognition, and keep excavated material from accumulating within two feet of a trench wall.
The Tuscaloosa-based company has 15 working days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Staff from OSHA's area office at 1141 Montlimar Dr., Suite 1006, in Mobile conducted the inspection; phone (251) 441-6131.
Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. 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 a copy of OSHA's pocket card, "Safety in Excavations or Trenches," call the publications office at (202) 693-1888. For additional information, visit www.osha.gov.
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.
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