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Region 4 News Release:    06-1105-ATL (134)
Date: July 10, 2006
Contact: Jeff Romeo     Dan Fuqua
Phone: (904) 232-2895 (404) 562-2078

OSHA Cites Jacksonville, Fla., Contractor for Trenching Hazards
Proposed Penalties Total More Than $49,000

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Jacksonville-based J.B. Coxwell Contracting Inc., with proposed penalties totaling $49,544, following an inspection of trenching work at a Green Cove Springs, Fla., work site.

"Trenching remains one of the most hazardous jobs in construction if proper procedures are not followed," said James D. Borders, OSHA's Jacksonville, Fla., area director. "Our goal is to ensure that excavation workers are protected from hazards."

The agency issued a willful citation, with a proposed penalty of $45,000 for failing to provide an adequate protective system, which exposed employees to a trench-collapse hazard. OSHA issues willful citations when employers have shown intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.

OSHA also issued three serious citations, with total proposed penalties of $4,544, because workers were exposed to fall hazards due to the lack of a ladder to enter and exit the trench; collapse hazards due to water on the bottom of the trench; and crushing hazards due to a 1,900-pound suspended load over a worker in the trench.

Serious citations are issued by OSHA when there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew or should have known of the hazards.

The company has 15 working days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection, which began March 20, was conducted by staff from OSHA's Jacksonville office at 1851 Executive Center Drive, Suite 227, telephone (904) 232-2895.

For more about trenching safety, visit

Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure 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. Information is available at


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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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