Exposed Workers to Trenching Hazards on Motgomery Job
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health
Administration has cited Loveland-based Carter Construction Co. Inc.
with four – including two willful – safety violations for exposing
workers to excavation hazards while installing an underground storm
sewer pipe in a 20-foot-deep trench in Montgomery. OSHA's June
inspection was conducted under the agency's National Emphasis Program on
Trenching and Excavation. Proposed penalties total $68,500.
"Carter Construction has a responsibility to ensure that workers are properly protected from known workplace hazards such as trench cave-ins, a leading cause of death and injury in excavation work," said Bill Wilkerson, OSHA's area director in Cincinnati. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers, especially when employers fail to do so."
The willful violations include failing to provide sidewall protection in a trench and to remove employees from an excavation where hazards were identified. 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.
Two serious violations include failing to keep equipment and material at least 2 feet back from the excavation's edge, and provide a means of entry into and exit from an open excavation. 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 have known.
OSHA standards mandate that all excavations 5 feet or deeper be protected against collapse. Detailed information on trenching and excavation hazards is available at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/trenchingexcavation/index.html.
Carter Construction has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Cincinnati Area Office at 513-841-4132.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.