OSHA Investigation Results in Fines for NY Contractor for Excavation Violations

Trench Collapse Fatalities, OSHA, excavation

In June 2016, OSHA investigators were notified of possible violations at a suburban NJ high school. Upon their initial inspection, contractors were found to be working in an unprotected 10-foot deep trench, which subsequently landed one of New York’s largest contractors in hot water. OSHA’s investigation found 9 violations including 1 willful violation against Landtek Group, Inc, who potentially face up to $198k in fines.

Landtek was cited for the alleged willful violation of exposing workers to cave-in hazards – the site did not have proper cave-in protections or safeguards in place. OSHA also found Landtek to have failed to prevent employee exposure to falls, provide mechanical retrieval equipment in the case of an emergency, have a competent person inspect the excavation, and to properly train employees on safely performing job duties and the hazards associated with them.

Related Course: 8-Hour Confined Space Entry/Attendant/Supervisor Training

OSHA remains to proactively enforce excavation violations and other confined space violations. Gallagher Bassett has previously reported on just how dangerous working in trenches can be; resulting in deaths that could have easily been prevented with proper training. When working in trenches make sure to keep these general excavation rules from OSHA in mind:

  • Keep heavy equipment away from trench edges.
  • Keep surcharge loads at least 2 feet (0.6 meters) from trench edges.
  • Know where underground utilities are located.
  • Test for low oxygen, hazardous fumes and toxic gases.
  • Inspect trenches at the start of each shift.
  • Inspect trenches following a rainstorm.
  • Do not work under raised loads.

At Gallagher Bassett Training Academy, we firmly believe that safety training is an investment in your future. Educate today for a safer tomorrow for you and your team.

Via EHS Today