OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Region 1 News Release: 07-1804-BOS/BOS 2007-357
Tues., November 20, 2007
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
BRAINTREE, Mass. - A Wellsville, N.Y., contractor's alleged failure to provide adequate cave-in protection for employees working at a Sandwich, Mass., jobsite has resulted in $46,500 in proposed fines from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Otis Eastern Services Inc. was cited for alleged willful and serious violations of safety standards at a natural gas pipeline excavation located at 1120 Sandwich Road, where OSHA inspectors found company employees working in a six feet deep, straight-walled trench that lacked protection against its walls collapsing.
The company consequently was issued one willful citation, with a proposed fine of $42,000, for the lack of cave-in protection. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.
"A cave-in can be swift and deadly," said Brenda Gordon, OSHA's area director in Braintree. "All excavations five feet or deeper must be protected against collapse, and failure to ensure this basic, vital and legally required safeguard risks employees' lives and livelihoods."
The company also was issued two serious citations, with $4,500 in proposed fines, for unguarded grinders and lack of eye and face protection for employees using grinders. A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Gordon noted that OSHA has posted a trenching "Quick Card," an interactive eTool and other detailed information on excavation safety on its Web site at www.osha.gov/SLTC/constructiontrenching/index.html to help employers understand how to comply with regulations and protect employees.
Otis Eastern Services Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to request and participate in an informal conference with OSHA or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. This inspection was conducted by OSHA's Braintree Area Office (telephone 617-565-6924).
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department 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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