The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Site Concrete Inc. of Grand Prairie, Texas and proposed penalties totaling $147,000 following an excavation collapse that killed a worker at a Collin County construction site.
OSHA began its investigation Dec. 15, 2004 when a 23-foot deep excavation collapsed and killed a worker laying a pipe. Citations against the company alleged one willful, one serious and two repeat violations of safety standards.
“Site Concrete did not follow the excavation safety plan an engineer developed for them,” said OSHA Regional Administrator John Miles in Dallas. “This employer has been cited four times since 2000 regarding the same violations and is well aware of what is required for cave-in protection.”
The willful citation was issued for failing to provide employees with cave-in protection. OSHA issues a willful citation when there is evidence of the intentional violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act or plain indifference to its requirements.
Failure to provide an appropriate ladder for employees to reach the 23-foot working depth accounted for the serious citation, one issued 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.
The two repeat citations were for failing to keep all materials at least two feet from the edge of excavations and for lack of fall protection while employees worked more than fifteen feet above the lower surface. A violation is designated as repeat when a similar citation for the same hazard was issued in the previous three years.
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA Dallas area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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