Wisconsin Excavating Company Fined for Workplace Safety Violations

August 13, 2009

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited A-1 Excavating Inc. in Bloomer, Wis., with one willful and four serious violations of federal workplace safety standards following the death of a worker. The agency has proposed $98,000 in penalties.

OSHA began its investigation in April when a worker was fatally lacerated while cutting pipe in a trench at a worksite in New Richmond, Wis. The investigation revealed hazards cited as serious for failure to maintain equipment in a safe condition, failure to provide safe egress from a trench, failure to provide training and the unsafe operation of equipment near or under overhead power lines.

The willful citation was for failing to protect workers in an excavation from cave-ins.

“A-1 Excavating has been inspected at various Wisconsin worksites 33 times since 1982 and has received 44 citations,” said OSHA Area Director Mark Hysell in Eau Claire, Wis. “It’s long past time that A-1 Excavating make a serious commitment to making certain their workers go home safe at the end of every shift.”

In February, OSHA issued $693,000 in penalties against the company for 11 willful violations of federal trenching standards, which A-1 Excavating is contesting before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Source: OSHA, www.osha.gov

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