Ohio Construction Company Cited for Trenching Violations

Sept. 11, 2000
OSHA issued citations with proposed penalties of $348,000 to\r\na Portsmouth, Ohio, construction company for exposing employees to\r\nhazardous trenching conditions that resulted in serious injuries.

OSHA issued citations with proposed penalties totaling $348,000 to a Portsmouth, Ohio, construction company for exposing employees to hazardous trenching conditions that resulted in serious injuries.

The proposed fines are the largest ever levied by OSHA against a trenching contractor in Ohio.

The agency cited the company, Boone Coleman Construction Inc., with a total of nine alleged violations, six of which are categorized as willful, the most significant violation by OSHA.

"These injuries were preventable. Despite warnings by Portsmouth city officials, the company failed to comply with safe trenching and excavation practices," said OSHA Administrator Charles Jeffress. "We simply cannot allow such flagrant disregard for workplace safety and the subjecting of workers to such hazardous and potentially life-threatening work conditions."

Boone Coleman Construction, an excavations contractor operating in southeastern, Ohio, employs approximately 90 employees, 13 of whom were involved in this waterline replacement project.

OSHA inspected the site following a referral from Portsmouth city officials, who had made several unsuccessful attempts to get Boone Coleman Construction to comply with safe trenching and excavation practices, even after an earlier cave-in incident in which two employees narrowly escaped injury.

Portsmouth city personnel, who received OSHA-funded training in trenching safety and rescue procedures, assisted in the rescue response freeing two workers trapped during a cave-in at the site on March 28.

The OSHA-funded training was conducted by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) to provide safety and health training for workers in jobs with high-risk activities or hazards, which include the construction industry.

OSHA cited the company for failure to provide proper protective systems for workers in trenches in excess of 5 feet deep.

The company was also cited for failure to train employees in requirements of the excavation standard and failure to support undermined pavement, sidewalk or similar structures from possible collapse.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

Sponsored Recommendations

Free Webinar: ISO 45001 – A Commitment to Occupational Health, Safety & Personal Wellness

May 30, 2024
Secure a safer and more productive workplace using proven Management Systems ISO 45001 and ISO 45003.

ISO 45003 – Psychological Health and Safety at Work

May 30, 2024
ISO 45003 offers a comprehensive framework to expand your existing occupational health and safety program, helping you mitigate psychosocial risks and promote overall employee...

DH Pace, national door and dock provider, reduces TRIR and claims with EHS solution

May 29, 2024
Find out how DH Pace moved from paper/email/excel to an EHS platform, changing their culture. They reduced TRIR from 4.8 to 1.46 and improved their ability to bid on and win contracts...

Case Study: Improve TRIR from 4+ to 1 with EHS Solution and Safety Training

May 29, 2024
Safety training and EHS solutions improve TRIR for Complete Mechanical Services, leading to increased business. Moving incidents, training, and other EHS procedures into the digital...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!