The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Loveland-based Carter Construction Co. Inc. with four – including two willful – safety violations for exposing workers to excavation hazards while installing an underground storm sewer pipe in a 20-foot-deep trench in Montgomery. Proposed penalties total $68,500.
“Carter Construction has a responsibility to ensure that workers are properly protected from known workplace hazards such as trench cave-ins, a leading cause of death and injury in excavation work,” said Bill Wilkerson, OSHA’s area director in Cincinnati. “OSHA is committed to protecting workers, especially when employers fail to do so.”
The willful violations include failing to provide sidewall protection in a trench and to remove employees from an excavation where hazards were identified. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
Two serious violations include failing to keep equipment and material at least 2 feet back from the excavation’s edge, and provide a means of entry into and exit from an open excavation. A serious violation occurs 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 mandate that all excavations 5 feet or deeper be protected against collapse.