The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued Gleason Construction Co. Inc. in Holland, Ohio, six citations for exposing workers to trench cave-ins hazards at two different excavation worksites. The citations carry total penalties of $135,800.
OSHA initiated two separate inspections, one in April and one in May, as part of OSHA’s National Trenching and Excavation Emphasis Program. The agency cited Gleason Construction Co. Inc. with three alleged willful violations carrying proposed fines of $119,000 for failing to properly install cave-in protection shields according to the manufacturer’s specifications and recommendations; provide employees with safe egress while entering and exiting a trench; and ensure not more than 2 feet of material was excavated below a protective shield system.
Additionally, the company was cited for two serious citations with proposed penalties of $8,400 for failing to prevent falling and rolling debris from striking employees working in a trench, and to ensure workers are protected against cave-ins while entering and exiting trenches.
The company also received one repeat serious violation with proposed penalties of $8,400 for failure to ensure safe egress from the trench.
Since 1986, Gleason Construction has been inspected on 26 other occasions. The previous inspections resulted in 17 serious, one willful and eight other-than-serious citations, which included violations for cave-in protection, ladders, failing to follow manufacturer’s recommendations, competent person deficiencies, falling loads and material, vehicular traffic issues and defective rigging.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its latest 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.
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