Region 9 News Release: 10-289-SAN (SF-54)
March 11, 2010 (Pacific Standard Time)
Contact: Deanne Amaden
US Department of Labor's OSHA assesses Guam contractor Hua Sheng $139,500 for hazardous conditions at barracks, worksite
SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Hua Sheng International Group Corp. in Barrigada, Guam, for $139,500 in proposed penalties for hazardous working and living conditions at a jobsite and barracks in Harmon, Guam.
"The failure of employers to provide clean water to workers they are required to house can lead to serious infections and dehydration," said Ken Nishiyama Atha, OSHA's regional administrator in San Francisco. "We are vigorously enforcing the standards for adequate housing and safety for all workers, including H-2B temporary workers, especially as construction and other industries ramp up in support of the planned relocation of Marine Corps personnel and their dependents from Okinawa, Japan, to Guam.
OSHA has cited the company for one alleged willful violation and 28 alleged serious violations. The willful violation is for failing to provide workers with an adequate water supply for drinking, cooking, bathing, flushing and laundry. The proposed penalty for the willful violation is $70,000. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.
The serious violations are for safety and health hazards related to poor living conditions at the employees' barracks as well as at the worksite. Some include failing to maintain the fire alarm system; maintain toilet rooms in sanitary condition; install cooking and heating equipment to meet local ordinances codes and regulations; provide proper food-handling facilities and garbage containers; and provide first aid facilities and maintain a trained first aid person. The proposed penalty for the serious violations is $69,500 A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
OSHA cited this company six times in the two years prior to this inspection. Four of the inspections resulted in a total of nine serious violations.
Hua Sheng has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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 these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
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