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OSHA PROPOSES $87,300 IN PENALTIES AGAINST MOBILE, ALA., CONTRACTOR FOR VIOLATIONS IN EXCAVATION WHERE WORKERS WERE INJURED

   OSHA PROPOSES $87,300 IN PENALTIES AGAINST MOBILE, ALA., CONTRACTOR
         FOR VIOLATIONS IN EXCAVATION WHERE WORKERS WERE INJURED
    ATLANTA, Nov. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Brunson Nichols Construction Company, Inc., Mobile, Ala., and proposed penalties totaling $87,300 following excavation accidents which resulted in injuries.
    According to Lana Graves, OSHA's area director in Mobile, the violations occurred at a site in Daphne, Ala., prior to and on May 23, 1991, as employees of the firm were installing a junction box for a concrete storm drain to raise the level of the pipe.
    The employees were in an excavation with near-vertical walls, 18 feet deep, 22 feet wide and 37 feet long, which the agency found was not shored or sloped in accordance with its requirements.
    As a result of the inspection, OSHA proposed a $63,000 penalty for one alleged willful violation of the agency's construction standards requiring a protective system for employees in an excavation.
    In addition, the company was cited for the following seven alleged serious safety and health violations:
    -- failing to have a written safety and health program;
    -- neglecting to train employees;
    -- allowing employees to ride in the backhoe bucket;
    -- weakening the pavement by undermining the support beneath it;
    -- failing to keep material two feet from the edge of the
       excavation;
    -- neglecting to conduct daily inspections;
    -- and failing to provide a ladder which extends at least three
       feet above the excavation. Proposed penalties for these violations totaled $24,300.
    "Without proper safety measures, a worker's life can be on the line when entering an excavation," said Graves.  "OSHA intends to vigorously enforce the law so that workers are protected."
    The agency defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the OSH Act and regulations.
    A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
    Employers may contest OSHA citations and proposed penalties within 15 days after receipt of a citation.  Contested cases are heard before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
    Inspection of the company worksite was conducted by OSHA's Mobile area office located at 3737 Government Blvd., Suite 100, Mobile, AL 36693; telephone 205-690-2131.
    -0-                 11/14/91
    /CONTACT:  Lana Graves, area director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Mobile office, 205-690-2131/ CO:  Brunson Nichols Construction Company, Inc.; U.S. Department of
     Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration ST:  Alabama IN: SU:  EXE BN-BR -- AT011 -- 4522 11/14/91 15:32 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 14, 1991
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