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OSHA Could Fine $94,000 for Unsafe Trench (4/25)

April 25, 2008
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OSHA has proposed $94,250 in penalties for seven safety violations after inspecting an Atlanta worksite, according to an agency press release. The site is located at Fulton Industrial Boulevard, where according to OSAH inspectors, employees were exposed to cave-in hazards.

The hazard was created by placing excavated material within two feet of the trench and allowing employees to work in an 18-foot-deep trench without an adequate protective system, OSHA said in the release. Employees of two construction contractors were installing storm drainage and sewer lines.

OSHA cited Plateau Excavation Inc. from Austell, Ga., with two repeat safety violations and proposed penalties of $75,000. The company also was cited with one serious violation, carrying a $7,000 proposed penalty, for not providing employees with a means of egress from the trench.

Graham, Ala.-based Beck Inc. also was cited with four serious safety violations and $12,250 in proposed penalties. In the release, OSHA noted the contractor failed to provide hazard recognition training to employees, provided inadequate access for a 24-foot-deep trench, allowed excavated materials to be placed too near the edge of a trench and did not provide an adequate protective system for employees working in a trench.

The companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations to contest the violations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA’s Atlanta-West Area Office.

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