OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Region 4 News Release
Release Number: 05-1575-ATL (190)
Date: Thursday, August 18, 2005
Contact: Kurt Petermeyer Jo Anne Burgoyne
Phone: (912) 652-4393 (404) 562-2076
SAVANNAH, Ga. -- The Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Knoxville-based Wolf Tree Experts Inc. for exposing workers to electrical hazards at a Port Wentworth, Ga., job site. The agency is proposing penalties totaling $59,000.
"There are well-established safety procedures for tree trimmers working near overhead electrical power lines," said John J. Deifer, OSHA's Savannah area director. "This employer was aware of the necessary safety precautions to protect workers from electrocution but failed to implement them."
The company received seven serious citations, with proposed penalties of $24,000, for failing to: maintain safe approach distance, determine voltage of power lines and conduct safety meetings before work began; designate an employee to observe and warn before equipment encroached into unsafe areas; and assure that equipment was properly insulated and in good working order.
A serious citation is issued 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 issued two repeat citations, with proposed penalties of $35,000, for not having CPR- and first-aid-trained personnel on site during tree trimming operations and failing to provide fire extinguisher training for employees who were expected to fight small fires. The company had been cited previously for similar violations.
The company has 15 working days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Savannah area office located at 450 Mall Boulevard, Suite J; phone: (912) 652-4393.
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.
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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