Advanced Construction & Development LLC faces nearly $80,000 in fines after an OSHA compliance officer reportedly saw employees working in a trench without proper shoring. The workers were installing a storm drainpipe in an excavation without cave-in protection, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Advanced Construction & Development is based in Biloxi, Mississippi, and the project was in D’Iberville, Mississippi. OSHA issues several citations to the company: failing to use protective systems, train employees to recognize and avoid excavation hazards, provide hard hats to employees working around heavy equipment, remove water from the excavation, and inspect the excavation and surrounding areas.
“Employers that fail to use cave-in protection when working in trenches and excavations expose workers to serious, sometimes fatal, injuries,” said Courtney Bohannon, OSHA Jackson area director, in a prepared statement. “Employers are legally obligated to slope, shore or shield trench walls to prevent a collapse.”
According to OSHA, Advanced Construction & Development 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 Review Commission.
OSHA recently updated the National Emphasis Program on preventing injuries related to trenching and excavation collapses. OSHA's trenching and excavation webpage provides additional information on trenching hazards and solutions, including a trenching operations QuickCard and a “Protect Workers in Trenches” poster.