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Worker buried in trench collapse survives with broken hip

July 10, 2012
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trenchOSHA has cited two Florida companies, Major Plumbing LLC and MAPP Construction LLC, for trenching hazards. OSHA opened an inspection after receiving a complaint in January that an excavation sidewall had collapsed and buried a worker, who sustained a broken hip and was hospitalized. The incident occurred while workers were installing two grease traps for a newly constructed Wal-Mart store in Bradenton.

Major Plumbing has been cited with one willful violation for failing to remove workers from an unprotected 12-foot-deep excavation when it has been identified as unsafe. The citation carries a $56,000 penalty. Additionally, the company has been cited with one serious violation for failing to provide excavation safety training to employees who are required to work in excavations greater than 5 feet deep. That citation carries a $5,600 penalty.

As the controlling employer at the work site, MAPP Construction was cited for one willful violation involving failing to ensure that cave-in protection was provided. The citation carries a $63,000 penalty.

"These employers knew the excavation was not safe and required cave-in protection but failed to take proper action to prevent the worker from being injured," said Les Grove, OSHA's area director in Tampa.

Major Plumbing LLC provides plumbing installation and servicing. Its offices are located in Spring Hill and Clearwater. MAPP Construction is a general contractor engaged in large construction projects for industrial and commercial buildings. The company is based out of Baton Rouge, La., and has a regional office in Orlando.

OSHA standards mandate that all excavations 5 feet or deeper be protected against collapse. Detailed information on trenching and excavation hazards is available on OSHA's website at www.osha.gov/SLTC/trenchingexcavation/index.html.

Proposed penalties to both companies total $124,600.

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