Equipment Type

OSHA Fines South Florida Utility Contractor-Again

Four workers have died working for this contractor in Naples, FL

June 21, 2018

Trench, water, and sewer work is dangerous work. Workers doing such work for Douglas N. Higgins Inc., dba D.N. Higgins, Inc. find it can be so dangerous, some of them die.

Still, after 4 worker deaths, $282,103 in OSHA fines, and numerous citations since January 2017, working for D.N. Higgins, Inc. seemingly hasn't gotten any safer.

The latest citations come after OSHA inspected a worksite at 107th Avenue and 7th Street in Naples, Florida on June 6 as part of the Agency’s National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation.

This time, OSHA inspectors found Douglas N. Higgins Inc. was allowing employees to work in a trench without cave-in protection and failed to maintain a safety and health program on excavation hazards. OSHA fine: $18,659.

Douglas N. Higgins Inc is well acquainted with OSHA investigations. On Jan. 16, 2017, 34-year-old Elway Gray, 49-year-old Louis O’Keefe, and 24-year-old Robert Wilson, died after succumbing to noxious gases while working for Douglas N. Higgins. OSHA fine: $119,507. 

In May 2018, a steel plate fell and fatally injured another Douglas N. Higgins worker while the employee was trenching sewer lines. OSHA fine: $162,596.

Now, Douglas N. Higgins Inc is looking at $18,659 in fines for one serious safety citation and two repeat safety citations.

 “Despite being recently cited for violations that contributed to four worker fatalities, this employer continues to disregard well-known safety and health requirements,” said Condell Eastmond, OSHA Fort Lauderdale Area Office Director. “Employers involved in excavation work must follow safety procedures to ensure that workers are properly protected from a trench collapse and other trench hazards.”

OSHA citations available here:

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