South Carolina-based Jordan Construction Co. exposed workers at a Pooler, Georgia worksite to a variety of hazards, according to OSHA, which inspected the as part of its National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation.
Workers were installing sewer lines at the intersection.
Inspection findings: OSHA issued the employer two willful citations for allowing employees to work in an excavation without cave-in protection and not ensuring the soil pile was at least 2-feet from the excavation edge. OSHA requires that all trenches and excavation sites 5-feet or deeper be protected against sidewall collapses. Protection may be provided through shoring of trench walls, sloping of the soil at a shallow angle or by using a protective trench box.
Additionally, two serious violations include failing to provide a safe entrance and exit from the trench and not requiring employees to wear head protection while working in a trench where falling objects could result in injury.
"Excavation and trenching are among the most dangerous construction operations, and cave-ins can place workers at risk for serious injury or death. Jordan Construction chose to intentionally ignore OSHA regulations and exposed their employees to these life-threatening hazards," said Robert Vazzi, OSHA's area director in Savannah.
Proposed penalties: $46,800