Excavation Companies Encouraged to Dig Trenches Not Graves

July 3, 2000
OSHA has cited Grade-A Excavating Inc. for alleged health and\r\nsafety violations and proposed penalties totaling $107,000.

OSHA has cited Grade-A Excavating Inc. for alleged health and safety violations and proposed penalties totaling $107,000.

Headquartered in Capitol Heights, Md., Grade-A is an underground utility installation contractor employing 25 workers.

OSHA initiated an investigation on Jan. 3, 2000 under its inspection scheduling system for industries with high injury rates. At the time of the inspection, five Grade-A workers were working at a job site on the grounds of Fort George Meade in Maryland.

According to Leonard Moore, area director of the Baltimore-Washington OSHA office, the company was cited for three willful violations, with a proposed penalty of $105,000 and one serious violation, with a proposed penalty of $2,000.

The willful violations include the company''s failure to provide a means of egress in excavations that are 4 feet or more in depth, failure to maintain spoil pile or equipment at least 2 feet from the edge of the excavation and failure to protect employees from cave-ins by an adequate protective system. The serious violation relates to the company''s failure to initiate and maintain necessary programs.

"Fortunately, we were able to identify these hazards before any accidents occurred," said Moore. "We encourage all employers to protect excavation workers by digging trenches not graves."

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.

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