OSHA Cites Texas Company Following Triple Fatality

April 26, 2001
OSHA cited Laser Corp. in The\r\nWoodlands, Texas, with four alleged violations and a penalty totaling\r\n$195,300 for a trenching accident that claimed the lives of three\r\nemployees.

The Houston South area office of OSHA cited Laser Corp. in The Woodlands, Texas, with four alleged violations and a penalty totaling $195,300 for a trenching accident that claimed the lives of three employees.

The investigation began Oct. 28, in Richmond, Texas, in response to a trenching accident that resulted in a triple fatality.

Three workers were killed last year when a 16-foot-deep utility trench collapsed and buried them.

The employer was cited for one serious and three willful violations.

The three willful violations involved inadequate protective systems to prevent a cave-in, storing excavation materials too close to the edge of the trench and unsafe conditions during entry to and exit from the trench box because of inadequate cave-in protection.

"OSHA will not tolerate employers allowing employees to work in a deep trench without adequate safeguards," said Ray Skinner, OSHA Houston South area director.

Laser Corp. has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to either comply, request an informal conference with the Houston South OSHA area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

About the Author

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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.

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