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Region 1 News Release: 05-1492-BOS /BOS 2005-216
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074

OSHA Cites Two Contractors for Cave-In Hazards at Wolfeboro Work Site

CONCORD, N.H. -- Two Granite State contractors face a total of $29,900 in fines from the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for failing to supply cave-in protection and other safeguards for employees working in an excavation at a Wolfeboro, N.H., job site.

Perm-A-Drive Paving Co. Inc. of Conway and Envirotex Construction Services Inc. of Milford were cited following a June 13 inspection of a job site at Center St. in Wolfeboro where workers were replacing a water main. An OSHA inspector passing by the job site observed two employees working in a 7-foot deep, straight-walled trench that was neither sloped nor shored to protect against a wall collapse.

"OSHA standards clearly mandate that excavations five feet or deeper must be safeguarded against cave-ins, yet the required protections were not in use at this location," said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA's New Hampshire area director. "These employers knew such protection was necessary but did not provide it even though a trench can collapse without warning and crush workers beneath tons of soil before they have a chance to react or escape."

Each company was issued a willful citation for failing to provide cave-in protection and two serious citations for allowing a damaged sling to be used to lift construction loads and failing to provide an adequate ladder to enter and exit the trench. Perm-A-Drive was fined $23,200; Envirotex was fined $6,700.

OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations. A serious violation is a condition where there is a substantial possibility that death or serious physical harm can result to an employee.

Ohar noted that OSHA offers detailed information on excavation safety on its Web site: http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/trenchingexcavation/index.html. A "Quick Card" about trenching safety is available in English and Spanish at: http://www.osha.gov/Publications/trench/trench_safety_tips_card.pdf.

Each company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Concord area office, telephone (603) 225-1629.

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 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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