OSHA Proposes $108,000 in Penalties against Georgia Construction Company

OSHA is proposing $108,000 in penalties against Tippins Contracting Co. for seven safety violations that exposed its employees to possible injury or death at two construction sites.

Inspections conducted in August and October 2008 revealed that the Marietta, Ga., company violated OSHA standards by failing to provide employees with protection from cave-ins while they worked in trenches. As a result, OSHA is proposing two willful citations with $88,000 in penalties. The agency defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.

"Trenching and excavating can be done without risking employees' lives but only if employers take the necessary precautions," said Andre Richards, director of OSHA's Atlanta-West Area Office. "Too often, employers focus on finishing a job quickly instead of finishing a job safely."

Five proposed serious violations carry penalties totaling $20,000. Inspectors found that damaged ladders were used at both sites. Additionally, at one site, material excavated from a trench was placed too close to the edge of the excavation, a portable ladder of insufficient height was used in one trench, and employees did not receive adequate training in the proper and safe use of ladders.

For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

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