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OSHA News Release – Region 6
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 6 News Release: USDL-OSHA-00-63-5-19
Fri., May 19, 2000
Contact: Diana Petterson
PHONE: (214) 767-4776, ext. 222
OSHA PROPOSES $103,000 PENALTY AGAINST SILVERTON CONSTRUCTION CO., IN EL PASO, TEXAS
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Silverton Construction Co., Inc. in El Paso, Texas, with four alleged safety and health violations and proposed penalties of $103,000, announced the U.S. Department of Labor.
Silverton Construction Co., Inc., employs about 200 workers and has had two previous OSHA inspections. No citations were issued at the last inspection, which was conducted in September of 1997.
The alleged violations were discovered during an inspection that took place on Nov. 22, 1999when the El Paso Fire Department rescued an employee who had been engulfed by a trench cave-in.
Silverton Construction Co. was cited for two willful and two serious violations.
The two willful citations allege that the employer failed to provide employee protection by not keeping and using excavated material at least 2-feet from the edge of the excavation, or by suing retaining devices. The second willful citation involves a grouping of two violations, one dealing with a competent person who did not take corrective action nor removed his employees from the hazard and second, the employer's failure to provide cave-in protection for employees working in a trench. A willful violation is defined as a violation in which the employer knew that a hazardous condition existed but made no reasonable effort to eliminate it and in which the hazardous condition violated a standard, regulation or the OSH Act.
The two serious citations included failure to provide a safe means of egress and use of a portable step ladder for egress purposes. A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
The Lubbock OSHA office has developed a local emphasis program to address unsafe construction work sites. OSHA dedicates significant resources to address the safety and health concerns in the construction industry.
Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call the nearest OSHA office. OSHA's toll-free hotline may be used to report workplace accidents, fatalities, or situations posing imminent danger to workers. The number is - (800) 321-6742.
Silverton has 15 working days, from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal hearing with the Lubbock Area Director, or to contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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