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Region 4 News Release: 08-950-ATL (170)
July 29, 2008
Contact: Michael Wald
Phone: 404-562-2076


U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA cites Mobile, Ala., construction contractor with four safety violations and proposes $48,000 in penalties

MOBILE, Ala. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing $48,000 in penalties against James R. Payne Inc. for four safety violations, including one willful violation. OSHA staff initiated the inspection as part of a national emphasis program on reducing injuries and fatalities related to trenching and excavation in the construction industry.

When OSHA compliance staff visited the construction site on Girby Road in Mobile, they found a protective trench box sitting unused, while employees worked in a trench that contained water. The company's failure to utilize equipment designed to protect employees is resulting in a $44,000 proposed penalty for a willful violation of OSHA standards. The agency defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.

The agency is proposing $4,000 in penalties for two serious violations by the company: allowing employees to work in a trench with accumulated water without taking the proper precautions, and not initiating and maintaining a safety and health program.

An other-than-serious violation is being proposed for failing to properly maintain records at the jobsite.

"There is no excuse for endangering employees and ignoring OSHA standards by having the proper safety equipment at the worksite but not using it," sa