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Region 6 News Release: 11-1700-DAL
Dec. 21, 2011
Contact: Elizabeth Todd   Juan Rodriguez
Phone: 972-850-4710   972-850-4709
Email: todd.elizabeth@dol.gov   rodriguez.juan@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA cites excavation and utilities
company following fatality at Gordon, Texas, facility

GORDON, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Granbury Contracting and Utilities Inc. for two willful and two serious safety and health violations following the death of a worker at the company's Gordon facility.

OSHA's Fort Worth Area Office initiated an inspection on June 28 in response to a report that employees working on a new sewer line were exposed to inhalation of a hazardous chemical. One employee who entered a manhole to remove a plug in order to flush out accumulated debris became overwhelmed by toxic fumes and died. Another employee was hospitalized after attempting to rescue his co-worker.

The willful violations are for failing to test for atmospheric conditions and provide adequate ventilation and emergency retrieval equipment prior to entry into a manhole. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

The serious violations are failing to provide or require the use of respirators as well as conduct an assessment to determine the potential for a hazardous atmosphere where oxygen deficiency, methane and/or hydrogen sulfide were present or likely to be present. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should ha