A Massachusetts contractor has received several citations from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration for alleged repeat and serious violations of excavation safety standards. An OSHA inspector watched as three employees worked in an unprotected trench in Boston.
The trench was nearly 6 feet deep and was not sloped at a shallow angle or otherwise protected against a potential collapse of its sidewalls. According to OSHA standards, all trenches and excavations five feet or deeper must be protected against collapse.
As a result, OSHA has proposed $33,700 in total fines. $28,000 of that is a repeat citation due to a similar hazard in the past. Another $5,700 in fines is two serious citations for not having a ladder or other safe means to exit the trench and not having the trench inspected by a competent person. The contractor has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, contest the findings, or participate in an informal conference.
Source: Cave-In Hazard Leads to $33,700 in OSHA Fines for Hyde Park, Mass., Contractor, EHSToday.com, November 18, 2009
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