Texas Company Fined for Trenching and Excavation Hazards

Oct. 21, 2002
A Frisco, Texas, excavating company faces $56,000 in proposed OSHA penalties for failing to protect employees from a possible cave-in while installing a water main at the base of a trench.

OSHA cited Rodman Underground Inc. with one alleged willful and two alleged serious violations resulting from an inspection that began April 23 at a McKinney, Texas, construction site.

The alleged willful violation was for failing to protect employees from the hazards of a cave-in while working at the base of a trench approximately 9 feet deep. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.

The two alleged serious violations were for failing to provide employees with a safe means of getting out of the trench, and for failing to place excavated materials at least 2 feet from the trench's edge.

A serious violation is one in which the hazard could cause death or serious physical harm to employees and the employer knew or should have known about it.

According to OSHA, the company had both a safety and health program that addressed the requirements for trenching and excavation, and had a trench safety plan designed by a registered engineer for the specific construction site. The company failed to follow either of the programs.

Rodman Underground Inc. has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the Dallas area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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!