Employees of a Philadelphia contractor were exposed to fall hazards as high as 18 feet, according to OSHA enforcement personnel, who also found trenching dangers at the worksite they inspected.

The fall protection citations issued to Hua Dua Construction were not the first the company received; Hua Dua was previously cited for similar violations in March and May 2016. The company was also cited for a serious violation for exposing workers to cave-in hazards due to an inadequate protective system.

The OSHA investigation sprang from a complaint received by the agency.

"Hua Da Construction continues exposing its workers to falls, the leading cause of death in the construction industry, and caught-in trenching hazards, one of the top four regularly cited construction violations," said Theresa Downs, director of OSHA's Philadelphia Area Office. "When construction contractors like Hua Da Construction repeatedly ignore safety standards, they jeopardize worker safety."

Proposed penalties are $72,511

OSHA has a national emphasis program on trenching and excavations. Trenching standards require protective systems on trenches deeper than 5 feet, and soil and other materials kept at least two feet from the edge of trench.