The U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Don Hall Construction for reportedly exposing workers to trenching hazards at a Morrow, Ga., worksite. The agency is proposing $89,200 in total penalties.
“This employer was aware of safe trenching practices, but did not implement them at this job site,” said Andre Richards, OSHA’s Atlanta-West area director. “OSHA is committed to reducing these hazards, which injure or kill many construction workers every year.”
On June 8, OSHA began an inspection at the corner of Forest Parkway and 3rd Ave., where soil was being excavated from under the highway to install a sewer drain line. The employer provided a trench box only 20 feet long to protect employees working in a trench 11 feet deep and 40 feet long.
The company received one willful citation, with a proposed penalty of $56,000, for failing to adequately protect workers from potential trench wall collapses. OSHA issues a willful citation when an employer has shown an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the Occupational Safety and Health Act and requirements.
OSHA also issued four repeat citations, with proposed penalties totaling $27,200, for failing to provide workers with hard hats and a safe means of entering and exiting the trench, and failing to assure that material was safely excavated and placed more than two feet from the trench edge. The company was fined an additional $6,000 for two serious violations — using defective ladders and failing to properly install trench shields.
Don Hall Construction has 15 working days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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