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Region 4 News Release: 08-69-ATL (019)
Jan. 29, 2008
Contact: Dan Fuqua Michael Wald
Phone: 404-562-2078 404-562-2076

U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA cites Gainesville, Ga.-based general contractor following fatality at Ellijay, Ga., construction jobsite

ATLANTA -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Hartley Construction Co. of Gainesville, Ga., for one willful and two serious safety violations carrying $54,950 in proposed penalties following a fatality at a church construction site in Ellijay, Ga., in August 2007.

"This needless death occurred because the contractor put speed ahead of safety," said Gei-Thae Breezley, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office.

OSHA has cited Hartley Construction for one willful safety violation, with a proposed penalty of $49,000, for not properly bracing the building's roof trusses. The site superintendent knew the proper procedures but was focused on saving time. The fatality occurred when the trusses collapsed, causing one employee to fall to his death.

Citations for two serious citations, with proposed penalties totaling $5,950, also have been issued against the company for not providing fall protection to its employees and storing roof trusses on the ground, exposing the material to moisture that could compromise its structural integrity.

OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health. 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.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to contest them and the proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office, 2183 Northlake Parkway, Building 7, Suite 110, Tucker, Ga.; telephone 770-493-6644.

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


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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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