A Pasadena, Texas construction company’s alleged failure to protect employees from trenching and excavation hazards has resulted in proposed penalties of $52,000 from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Ramos Industries, an underground utilities installer that employs about 300 workers, was issued citations for alleged serious and repeat safety violations following an OSHA inspection. The inspection began April 22 at a construction site on south Spohn Drive in Corpus Christi where investigators observed several unsafe conditions.
Four citations for alleged serious violations were issued for exposing workers to vehicular traffic, improper trench box installations, exposing workers to a possible cave-in when entering and exiting the trench box and failure to place the trench box on the ground. A serious violation is one that could cause death or serious physical harm to employees for a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The two alleged repeat violations involved failure to provide employees with a safe means of access and egress from the trench such as providing a ladder or ramp. A repeat violation is defined as a violation that was previously cited where upon re-inspection a substantially similar violation is found. Ramos was fined $7,000 as a result of OSHA’s inspection on Oct. 18, 2002, in Houston for the same violation.
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request a conference with the OSHA area director in Corpus Christi, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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