Region 8 News Release: 11-333-DEN
March 15, 2011
Contact: Rich Kulczewski
US Department of Labor's OSHA cites W Construction in
Belgrade, Mont., for exposing employees to trench cave-in hazards
BILLINGS, Mont. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited W Construction in Belgrade with one willful and three serious violations following two separate inspections for exposing workers to a potential trench cave-in. Proposed penalties for both inspections total $36,400.
"It only takes seconds for a trench to become a grave, and OSHA will not tolerate an employer's disregard for worker safety," said Christine A. Webb, OSHA area office director in Billings. "The hazards discovered during these inspections are well recognized in the construction industry."
Both inspections took place during September 2010. Based on the first, the company has been cited with two alleged serious violations for failing to remove workers and to provide cave-in protection from an unsafe trench when hazardous conditions were recognized. Based on the second, the company has been cited with one alleged willful violation for failing to provide cave-in protection and another serious violation for failing to remove workers from an unsafe trench when hazardous conditions were recognized.
A serious citation is issued 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.
A willful violation exists when an employer has demonstrated either an intentional disregard for the requirements of the law or plain indifference to employee safety and health.
The company 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. The inspections were conducted by OSHA's Billings Area Office; telephone 406-247-7494. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
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 ensure 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.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.