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Region 4 News Release
Release Number: 05-1748-ATL (231)
Date: Thursday, September 22, 2005
Contact: Roberto Sanchez             Jo Anne Burgoyne
Phone: (205) 731-1534      (404) 562-2076


OSHA Cites Alabama Utility Contractor for Exposing Workers to Trenching Hazards at Huntsville Job Site

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Miller & Miller for exposing employees to trenching hazards at a Huntsville job site. The proposed penalties total $53,000.

"Trenches collapse quickly and without warning," said Roberto Sanchez, OSHA's Birmingham area director. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers and reducing hazards that result in death and injury."

Miller & Miller received one willful citation, with a proposed penalty of $38,000, for allowing employees to work in a 16-foot-deep excavation without adequate cave-in protection. OSHA issues a willful citation 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 six serious citations, with proposed penalties totaling $15,000, for other safety hazards observed at the South Memorial Parkway site where a storm drain system was being installed.

The cited safety hazards included allowing employees to work in an excavation where utilities were not properly supported; exposing employees to injuries from the bucket of a hydraulic excavator being used improperly; failing to provide workers with a safe means of entering and exiting the trench; and allowing employees to work in an unsafe trench.

The Huntsville-based company has 15 days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Staff from the Birmingham OSHA office located at 950 22nd Street North, Suite 1050, conducted the inspection; phone: (205) 731-1534.

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.


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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.


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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