Company agrees to pay $39,500 OSHA fine

Published 10:10 pm Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Hattiesburg company cited for safety violations in the death of three workers when a trench collapsed in March has agreed to pay a $39,500 fine.

American Air Specialists Inc. was cited by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration for the four “serious” and one “willful” safety violations.

The company and OSHA agreed to a settlement that was nearly half of the $65,450 original penalty OSHA had proposed.

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The company was fined after three of its employees died while they were connecting a sewer line in Hattiesburg. The workers were identified as 30-year-old Leonardo Navarro Diaz of Sumrall, 19-year-old Brandon Edward Rathbone of Hattiesburg and 55-year-old Wayne Dale Kelly of Columbia.