OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Region 1 News Release: 05-1782-BOS /BOS 2005-253
Monday, September 26, 2005
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
CONCORD, N.H. -- A Manchester contractor faces $28,100 in fines from the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for allegedly failing to supply cave-in protection for workers at a Hooksett jobsite.
OSHA cited Pichette Brothers Construction Co. Inc. following inspection of a sewer installation project on Rte. 3 in Hooksett. On Aug. 24, an OSHA inspector observed five company employees installing a catch basin in a 13-foot deep excavation that was not sloped, shored or otherwise protected against collapse. In addition, not all of the employees in the excavation wore helmets to protect against falling debris or equipment.
"The OSHA requirement that all excavations five feet or deeper be equipped with collapse protection is clear and well-known to this employer, who chose to disregard it" said Rose Ohar, OSHA's New Hampshire area director. "Had this excavation collapsed, five workers could have been buried beneath tons of soil and debris before they had a chance to react or escape."
OSHA issued Pichette Brothers one willful citation with a $27,500 fine for failing to supply cave-in protection and one serious citation with a $600 fine for lack of head protection. 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 reminded Granite State employers and workers 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.
The 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.
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.
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