OSHA fines Missouri contractor for trenching hazards

ConDig (25-Nov-19).  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined a Missouri contractor $210,037 for failing to protect employees from trench collapse and electrical hazards.

The agency said that it cited Birmingham-based Blue Nile Contractors Inc after inspectors saw workers exposed to trenching and excavation hazards while installing water lines at a project in Kansas City, Missouri, in May.

OSHA cited the company for four repeat and five serious safety violations of trenching and electrical hazards, and placed the company in the Agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program

“Trench collapses can be quick and cause serious or fatal injuries, but they are preventable,” said OSHA Kansas City area director Karena Lorek. 

“Employers must ensure that there is a safe way to enter and exit a trench, cave-in protection is used, all materials are placed away from the trench’s edge, standing water and other hazards are addressed, and no one enters a trench before it has been properly inspected.”

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Commission.

Last month, OSHA has fined a south Florida contractor $185,239 for exposing employees to excavation and confined spaces hazards after a fatality at a project in Pembroke Pines, Florida.

OSHA fined two Florida roofing contractors a combined total of $83,348 for exposing employees to struck-by and fall hazards at a project in Greenacres, Florida, in October.

OSHA had fined a Escatawpa, Mississippi-based contractor $161,771 for excavation and cave-in violations also last month.

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