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Arkansas construction firm fined for trenching hazards (2/20)

OSHA has cited Harrison, Ark.-based Henley Construction Inc. with two willful and three repeat violations of OSHA standards and has proposed $63,000 in penalties.

OSHA's Little Rock Area Office began its inspection on Nov. 4, 2008, at the company's worksites on 1499 Highway 65 and 1683 Highway 65 in Clinton. The investigation, which was part of OSHA's National Emphasis Program, found alleged willful violations including the company's failure to provide training in avoiding hazards associated with working in trenches eight-feet deep or more and failure to provide a means of egress while employees are working at excavation worksites that are four-feet deep or more. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

Repeat violations include failure to ensure employees working in trenches eight feet deep are adequately protected from cave-ins and failure to provide the use of personal protective equipment. In this case, employees were not provided with hard hats. A repeat violation is defined as a violation that previously was cited where, upon re-inspection, a substantially similar violation is found.

Henley Construction has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Little Rock, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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