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Region 6 News Release: OSHA-05-1160-DAL
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Contact: Diana Petterson or Elizabeth Todd
Phone: (214) 767-4776, ext. 222 or 221


Excavation Hazards at Palmhurst, Texas, Worksite Result in OSHA Fines Totaling $100,000

HOUSTON -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Ramos Industries Inc. of Houston and proposed penalties totaling $100,000 for exposing employees to trenching and excavation hazards.

OSHA citations against the company alleged one alleged willful, one serious and one repeat violation following an investigation that began Dec. 16, 2004. The investigation, part of a planned inspection under OSHA's national emphasis program for trenching, found that employees were working in an unprotected excavation while installing a concrete manhole at a Palmhurst, Texas, worksite.

"This is the third time this company has been cited for trenching and excavation hazards in the last year, two of which occurred in December 2004 within a two-week period," said John Giefer, OSHA Corpus Christi area director. "It is fortunate that no one was injured."

The willful citation was issued for failing to provide protection against a possible cave-in in an excavation 10- to 12-feet deep. OSHA issues a willful citation when there is evidence of the intentional violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act or plain indifference to its requirements.

The serious violation involved failing to train employees in the proper method of lifting and transporting trench boxes to prevent damaging them. A serious citation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

A single repeat violation was cited for failing to have a safe means of exiting an excavation in the event of an emergency. A violation is designated as repeat when a similar citation for the same hazard was issued in the previous three years.

Ramos Industries employs about 254. The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA Corpus Christi area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards may contact OSHA's Corpus Christi Area Office at (361) 888-3420 or may call OSHA's toll-free hotline number at 1-800-321-6742 to report workplace accidents, fatalities, or situations posing an imminent danger to workers.

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 more information, visit www.osha.gov.


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U.S. Labor Department 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 at (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The U.S. Department of Labor 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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