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OSHA News Release – Region 8
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 8 News Release: OSHA 02-43
Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2002
Contact: Rich Kulczewski
DENVER -- The failure of a Broomfield, Colo. contractor to protect employees against trench cave-in hazards has resulted in $63,500 in fines from the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Wycon Construction Co., 645 Compton, was cited for alleged willful and serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act following an OSHA inspection of a trenching worksite in Englewood May 6.
The company was cited for one alleged willful violation for not ensuring that employees were protected from cave-ins while connecting a 48-inch pipe in a trench. A $56,000 fine is proposed for this citation. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.
Wycon also was cited for three alleged serious violations, at $2,500 each, for failure to ensure that employees who worked in trenches were trained by a competent person, failure to provide a safe means to get out of in a trench more than five feet deep, and failure to protect employees from falling materials .
A serious violation is one in which the hazard could cause death or serious physical harm to employees and the employer knew or should have known about it.
"Improperly protected trenches can collapse suddenly and with great force," said John Healy, OSHA's Englewood area office director. "This employer was well aware of the hazards involved in the multiple excavations, some of which were up to 20 feet in depth, and of OSHA's trenching and excavations standards."
Wycon Construction has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the Englewood area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can contact the Englewood area office at (303) 843-4500 or the Denver area office at (303) 844-5285.
OSHA's toll-free hotline may also be used to report workplace accidents, fatalities, or situations posing imminent danger to workers. The Englewood area office number is 1-800-669-5771 and the Denver area office number is 1-800-755-7090.
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