OSHA Proposes Fine for Little Rock Company

July 28, 2005

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Flynco Inc., Little Rock, Ark., and proposed penalties totaling $40,000 for exposing employees to excavation hazards.

“Employers must take necessary precautions to protect employees from workplace hazards,” said Paul Hansen, OSHA’s area director in Little Rock. “Fortunately, no one was injured in this case.”

OSHA citations against Flynco alleged one willful and two serious violations following an inspection begun April 8 by the agency’s Little Rock district office. The inspection took place as part of OSHA’s national emphasis program aimed at preventing trenching and excavation accidents. The company employs about 38 workers, 12 of whom were working at the Alexander worksite.

The willful citation was issued for failing to provide sloping and benching in the trench. A willful violation is defined as one committed with an intentional disregard of or plain indifference to the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

The serious violations included failing to ensure excavated material was stored at least two feet from the edge of the excavation and failing to have a competent person at the worksite if an emergency were to occur. A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Flynco has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s Little Rock area director or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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