The fatality rate for excavation work is 112 percent higher than the rate for general construction
<p>The fatality rate for excavation work is 112 percent higher than the rate for general construction.</p>

OSHA: Texas Pipe-Laying Company Exposed Workers to Trenching Hazards

The agency conducted an inspection after observing employees working in an unprotected trench.

OSHA has cited El Paso Underground Construction to the tune of $190,642 after the company allowed its workers to work in dangerous conditions.

The agency discovered the Texas-based company's employees performing pipe work in an unprotected trench, triggering an inspection that dug up several violations.

"This company has once again put their employees at serious risk by failing to provide training and implement required trenching protections," said OSHA El Paso Area Office Director Diego Alvarado. "Unprotected trenches can be fatal and it is fortunate that no one was injured."

OSHA cited El Paso Underground for failing to provide employees a safe means of entering and exiting a trench, not protecting employees against cave-ins and for failing to train employees in safe work practices.

This wasn't the company's first run-in with the agency. El Paso Underground Construction previous was cited four times in 2017 for similar violations. As a result, OSHA has placed El Paso Underground in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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