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Region 4 News Release: 11-1496-ATL (502)
October 24, 2011
Contact: Michael D'Aquino      Michael Wald
Phone: 404-562-2076      404-562-2078
E-mail: d'aquino.michael@dol.gov      wald.michael@dol.gov

Trenching hazards result in citations, more than $69,000 in proposed fines for
South Florida contractor from US Department of Labor's OSHA

HIALEAH GARDENS, Fla. – American Engineering and Development Corp. has been cited for six safety violations after the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspected the company's job site located at 5900 72nd Ave. NW in Miami. OSHA opened its inspection after receiving a referral about hazards at the site. Proposed penalties total $69,300.

One repeat violation with a $34,650 proposed fine was cited for allowing an employee to work in a trench approximately 10 feet deep that lacked cave-in protection. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. OSHA cited the company for a similar violation in January 2010 at a different site in Miami.

Five serious violations with proposed fines of $34,650 involve allowing an employee to work in a trench where water had accumulated; permitting an employee to work in a trench while heavy equipment was used to dig at the edge of the trench, exposing the worker to dangers of the equipment falling or rolling into the trench; failing to remove workers from the trench when hazardous conditions existed; using a ladder at the site that extended less than 3 feet above the edge of the trench; and not adequately training employees to recognize the hazards related to the ladder. 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.

"Excavation cave-ins cause serious and often fatal injuries, and OSHA will not allow employers to take chances with workers' lives," said Darlene Fossum, director of OSHA's area office in Fort Lauderdale.

Detailed information on trenching and excavation hazards is available at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/trenchingexcavation/index.html.

American Engineering and Development Corp., which is based in Hialeah Gardens, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by OSHA's Fort Lauderdale Area Office.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Fort Lauderdale office at 954-424-0242.

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.

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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.


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