US Dept of Labor

Occupational Safety & Health AdministrationWe Can Help

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents
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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.
Trade News Release Banner Image

Region 1 News Release:    06-1044-BOS /BOS 2006-169
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Contact: John M. Chavez
Phone: (617) 565-2075


Excavation Hazards at Weymouth Worksite Bring Citations and Fines Totaling $66,150 for Taunton Contractor

WEYMOUTH, Mass. -- A Taunton, Mass. contractor's alleged failure to protect employees from trenching and excavation hazards has resulted in proposed penalties of $66,150 following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

G Lopes Construction Inc. was cited for one alleged willful and one alleged serious violation of safety standards following an inspection by OSHA's Braintree area office on March 23. An OSHA inspector passing by the jobsite on Main Street in Weymouth observed an employee working on a water main inside a 6-foot-8-inch deep trench that lacked protection against a collapse of its sidewalls.

"Workers must be safeguarded from cave-ins while working in excavations 5 feet or deeper," said Brenda Gordon, OSHA's area director for southeastern Massachusetts. "A sudden collapse can stun and bury workers beneath tons of soil without the opportunity to escape. Fortunately, no one was injured in this case."

G Lopes Construction was issued one willful citation for failing to provide adequate protection from cave-ins. Additionally, one serious citation was issued for placing excavated spoils within 2 feet of the edge of the trench.

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 citation is issued when death or serious physical harm are likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

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.

Employers and employees with questions about workplace safety and health can contact OSHA's Braintree area office at (617) 565-6924. A toll-free hotline may be used to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers. The number is 1-800-321-6742.

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. Detailed information on excavation safety, including a trenching "Quick Card", is available for employers and workers on OSHA's Web site at: http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/trenchingexcavation/index.html


###

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. Call (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

Thank You for Visiting Our Website

You are exiting the Department of Labor's Web server.

The Department of Labor does not endorse, takes no responsibility for, and exercises no control over the linked organization or its views, or contents, nor does it vouch for the accuracy or accessibility of the information contained on the destination server. The Department of Labor also cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked Web sites. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked Web site. Thank you for visiting our site. Please click the button below to continue.

Close