A Grand Prairie, Texas-based, construction company’s alleged failure to protect employees from cave-in and other safety hazards at a Wylie, Texas, construction site has resulted in proposed penalties totaling $117,500 from the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Site Concrete Inc., an underground utility contractor that employs about 1,200 workers, was cited by OSHA for one alleged willful and two alleged repeat violations following an inspection by the agency’s Dallas area office that began July 20 at the company’s worksite on Alanis Lane in Wylie. At the time of the inspection, completed under OSHA’s National Trenching and Excavation Program, four workers were installing a new valve on the water main inside a seven-foot deep trench.
“Since 1998, this employer has been inspected by OSHA 16 times, resulting in $231,510 in fines and penalties. Exposing employees to unsafe working conditions is unacceptable,” said Kathryn Delaney, OSHA area director in Dallas. “Employers must follow safety and health standards to prevent injuries and fatalities, and are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees.”
The willful citation was issued for failure to provide employees with cave-in protection, such as sloping or shoring, when working inside a trench greater than five feet deep. A willful violation is defined as an intentional disregard of or plain indifference to the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.
The repeat violations include placing excavated materials and equipment less than two feet from the edge of the trench and not providing adequate means to exit the trench. A repeat violation is one in which an employer has previously been cited for the same or a substantially similar violation that has become a final order.
Site Concrete has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the Dallas area director or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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