A press release published by OSHA
last week announced 16 safety citations for a construction company based in Richmond, Texas. OSHA was alerted to the safety violations only after an 8-foot deep trench partially collapsed, seriously injuring a worker.
The citations issued included failing to clear debris from a trench edge, not providing a safe way to enter and exit the excavation, and failing to conduct atmospheric testing after a sewer main break. In a statement Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels said,
“For more than 2,500 years, man has known how to prevent deadly trench collapses. It is absolutely unacceptable that employers continue to endanger the lives of workers in trenches. An employer is responsible for providing a workplace safe from hazards.”
It turned out to be an expensive oversight. The total cost for the citations exceeded $423,000. The fines in addition to the cost of treating the injured worker highlight just how expensive it is to ignore safety procedures on a construction site. With careful planning, worker training, and the implementation of a safety plan, these types of fines and resulting injuries are entirely preventable.
If you have questions about how your construction company can benefit from creating a safety plan and onsite monitoring, feel free to give us a call at 864.905.7835
photo credit: GME Shields