OSHA Cites Contractor for Lack of Cave-In Protection

June 20, 2019

The U.S Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Trainor Construction Co. for alleged “willful and serious violations of workplace safety standards,” according to a press release.

OSHA’s inspection found that the 7 to 7-and-one-half-foot deep trench employees were working in lacked adequate protection against possible collapse of its side walls. The group also found that the trench lacked shoring or underpinning for an unsupported concrete structure adjacent to the trench, the trench’s support members were not installed properly, and a competent person had not removed the workers from the trench.

The employees also lacked reflective vests or high-visibility clothes, exposing them to vehicle traffic hazards.

"An unprotected trench can become a prison or a grave in seconds if its walls cave in on workers," Brenda Gordon, OSHA's area director for Boston and southeastern Massachusetts, said in a press release. "Employers should never allow employees into a trench until it has been effectively protected against collapse. Workers' lives depend on it."

OSHA issued the company one willful citation, with a proposed fine of $14,000 for the unprotected trench and four serious citations, with $15,000 in fines, for the other hazards.

Source: OSHA