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OSHA News Release – Region 4
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 4 News Release ATL: 03-04
Wed., Jan. 15, 2003
Contact: Jo Anne Burgoyne Gei-Thae Breezley
Phone: (404) 562-2076 (770) 493-6644 ext 0
OSHA Proposes $50,000 Penalty
ATLANTA -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Mastec, Inc., for exposing employees to trenching hazards at an Atlanta area job site. The agency is proposing a $50,000 penalty. The agency has cited the telecommunications company four times within the past three years for similar violations in Florida, Texas and Colorado.
OSHA began an investigation July 9, after being notified of an unsafe trenching operation near the northbound I-75, Mt. Zion access ramp. Investigators found four Mastec employees installing underground fiber optic cable in a seven-foot-deep trench that was not properly sloped to prevent excavated material from falling back onto the workers.
"OSHA is committed to keeping workers from being buried at excavation sites, an all too common occurrence," said Gei-Thae Breezley, OSHA's Atlanta-East area director.
The agency has developed a national program to help employers and workers recognize and reduce trenching and excavation hazards. Employers may request assistance from a local OSHA office and attend agency-sponsored workshops. This program is separate from the agency's strong enforcement effort that allows OSHA staff to inspect any trench or excavation that appears hazardous.
The Atlanta-based company, which is involved in telecommunication construction projects throughout the country, has 15 working days to contest the OSHA citation and proposed penalty before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
OSHA issues a repeat citation when an employer has been cited previously for a substantially similar condition and the citation has become a final order of the Review Commission.
Staff from the Atlanta-East OSHA office located at LaVista Perimeter Office Park, Bldg 7, Suite 110, Tucker, Ga., conducted the investigation; phone: (770) 493-6644.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses, and protecting America's workers. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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