Contractor Fined for Excavation Hazards

02.16.2011
HR & Safety

Following an inspection at a Stratford construction jobsite, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited a North Branford contractor for failing to provide cave-in protection while installing a catch basin cover. The contractor faces a total of $53,460 in proposed fines.

OSHA inspectors found an employee working in an excavation deeper than five feet that lacked proper protection against a collapse of its sidewalls as well as a ladder or other safe means of exit. The worker also was exposed to being struck by the bucket of an excavator that was placing gravel in the excavation.

OSHA had cited the company in 2008 and 2009 for excavation hazards at worksites in North Branford and Orange. As a result of these recurring conditions, the contractor has been issued two repeat citations with $48,510 in proposed fines for the latest hazards. A repeat hazard is issued when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard or rule at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

The company also has been issued one serious citation with a $4,950 fine for failing to prohibit an employee from working under and within the swing radius of the excavator bucket. OSHA issues a serious citation 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.

OSHA standards require that all trenches and excavations five feet or deeper be protected against collapse. For details, see www.osha.gov/SLTC/trenchingexcavation/index.html.

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