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Region 4 News Release: 09-785-ATL (209)
July 16, 2009
Contact: Michael D'Aquino     Michael Wald
Phone: 404-562-2076     404-562-2078

U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA cites Madison, Ala., construction company for willful and serious safety violations following Warner Robins, Ga., fatality

ATLANTA -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited ASM-Sanders Inc. for safety violations at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia.

In March, one worker was killed after suffering severe head trauma when a chilled water line, which was being tested with compressed air, shattered and struck the employee in the head. The Madison, Ala.-based company is being cited for one serious violation for using compressed air instead of following the manufacturer's recommendation to perform hydrostatic testing for leaks and chemical welds in the polyvinyl chloride pipes that were installed.

Two additional violations include failure to provide a safe means of egress from the trench and to protect the water and sewer lines and electrical duct from potential cave-in. The company is also being cited with one willful violation for having four employees working in a five-and-a-half foot trench without a protective system.

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

"This tragedy would have been avoided had the employer followed the manufacturer's recommended method for testing the piping. Additional loss of life was a distinct possibility, given the employer's failure to comply with safe trenching requirements," said Gei-Thae Breezley, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office.

OSHA has proposed a total of $77,600 in penalties against the company, which has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director or contest the citations and 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.

OSHA's mission is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by preventing injuries, illnesses and fatalities. OSHA operates a vigorous enforcement program, conducting almost 39,000 inspections and finding nearly 88,000 violations of its standards and regulations in fiscal year 2008. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA sets and enforces standards, and provides training, outreach and education. For more information, visit


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