FEBRUARY 16, 2006
(615) 741-2257 (O)
(615) 419-2068 (C)


NASHVILLE - The Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA) has completed its investigation of a workplace accident that resulted in a fatality on December 1, 2005, at a highway construction site at Elm Hill Pike and Briley Parkway in Nashville. The report cites Mountain States Contractors LLC and its successors located in Mt. Juliet, with fines totaling $147,200.

TOSHA issued both willful and serious citations to the company, with proposed penalties of $147,200. The following are the areas cited:

Serious Violations
Serious citations are issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.

  • The employer did not instruct each employee in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions and the regulations applicable to the worker’s environment.
  • Protection was not provided by placing and keeping excavated or other materials or equipment at least two feet from the edge of excavations or by using retaining devices.

Willful Violations
Willful citations are issued when an employer has shown an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.

  • Where the competent person found evidence of a situation that could result in a possible cave-in…exposed employees were not removed from the hazardous area until the necessary precautions had been taken to ensure their safety
  • Each employee in an excavation was not protected from cave-ins by an adequate protective system.

Trenching and excavations have been a part of TOSHA’s special emphasis programs since 1997. Because of the continuing incidence of trench/excavation collapses and accompanying loss of life, TOSHA placed renewed emphasis in this area. For more information go to our Web site at

The employer has 20 calendar days from receipt of its citations and penalties to request and participate in an informal conference with TOSHA and/or to contest them before the independent Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Copies of the citations are available upon request.

# # #