US Dept of Labor

Occupational Safety & Health AdministrationWe Can Help

OSHA News Release - Table of Contents
Trade News Release Banner Image

Region 6 News Release: 11-1700-DAL
Dec. 21, 2011
Contact: Elizabeth Todd   Juan Rodriguez
Phone: 972-850-4710   972-850-4709

US Labor Department's OSHA cites excavation and utilities
company following fatality at Gordon, Texas, facility

GORDON, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Granbury Contracting and Utilities Inc. for two willful and two serious safety and health violations following the death of a worker at the company's Gordon facility.

OSHA's Fort Worth Area Office initiated an inspection on June 28 in response to a report that employees working on a new sewer line were exposed to inhalation of a hazardous chemical. One employee who entered a manhole to remove a plug in order to flush out accumulated debris became overwhelmed by toxic fumes and died. Another employee was hospitalized after attempting to rescue his co-worker.

The willful violations are for failing to test for atmospheric conditions and provide adequate ventilation and emergency retrieval equipment prior to entry into a manhole. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

The serious violations are failing to provide or require the use of respirators as well as conduct an assessment to determine the potential for a hazardous atmosphere where oxygen deficiency, methane and/or hydrogen sulfide were present or likely to be present. 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.

"The company failed to ensure that proper confined space entry procedures were followed," said Jack Rector, OSHA's area director in Fort Worth. "If it had followed OSHA's safety standards, it is possible that this tragic incident could have been prevented."

The citations can be viewed at*.

Proposed penalties total $118,580. Granbury Contracting and Utilities, which employs about 30 workers at its Gordon location, has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Fort Worth area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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 Worth office at 817-581-7303.

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


U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at 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.

* Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF documents.

OSHA News Release - Table of Contents

Thank You for Visiting Our Website

You are exiting the Department of Labor's Web server.

The Department of Labor does not endorse, takes no responsibility for, and exercises no control over the linked organization or its views, or contents, nor does it vouch for the accuracy or accessibility of the information contained on the destination server. The Department of Labor also cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked Web sites. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked Web site. Thank you for visiting our site. Please click the button below to continue.