OSHA cited two contractors for 10 safety violations at the Water & Sanitary Sewer Replacement Project construction site in Richland Hills, Texas, and has proposed penalties totaling $82,500.
The alleged violations were discovered during three unscheduled inspections when work was being performed inside three separate excavation sites with no protection from cave-ins.
Each inspection resulted in an investigation. OSHA''s standards require that cave-in protection be provided for employees working in a trench or excavation over 5 feet in depth.
Henderson Construction, the general excavation contractor for the site, was proposed penalties of $63,000. H & I Equipment Inc., a pipe boring subcontractor faces penalties totaling $19,500.
"OSHA has developed a national emphasis program to address unsafe construction work sites, particularly those with obvious excavation hazards and violations," said Dean Wingo, OSHA Fort Worth area director. "The metroplex has seen an increase of workers killed in trench cave-in accidents."
Recent statistics show the Dallas-Forth Worth area leads the state of Texas in the number of construction-related fatalities.
In response to these statistics, OSHA announced last week, efforts to beef up enforcement.
OSHA officials are rededicating resources and increasing the number of inspectors in the area to actively patrol construction sites for obvious unsafe conditions.
Each contractor has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply or contest the citations.
by Virginia Sutcliffe