Fall, trenching hazards keep OSHA busy this week
Two themes emerged this week in the safety and health violations OSHA issued to non-complying companies: workers endangered by fall and trenching hazards.
L N Framing, Inc., a residential and commercial framing contractor, was cited for exposing employees to fall hazards at a Jacksonville, Florida worksite. The company faces $58,343 in penalties for failing to ensure that employees used a fall protection system while installing roof trusses and interior framing on the second floor of a residential home under construction. OSHA conducted the inspection in conjunction with the Regional Emphasis Program on Falls in Construction. The Agency has inspected L N Framing Inc. twice since 2015, with each previous inspection resulting in a citation under the residential fall protection standard.
An OSHA inspection of a Lake Barrington, Illinois worksite brought citations to Five Star Roofing Systems, Inc. While having employees perform roofing work at a commercial building site, the Hartford City-based company failed to provide head, eye, face and fall protection; allowed improper use of warning lines during low-sloped roof construction; had lack of guards on belts and pulleys; unsafe use of ladder; and failed to designate a safety monitor.
The company faces $220,249 in penalties for repeated fall protection violations.
“This company has violated required safety standards repeatedly and placed employees at risk for serious injuries,” said OSHA’s Chicago North Area Director Angeline Loftus.
Inadequately protected trenches
Trenching violations resulted in citations for companies in Missouri and South Dakota. After inspectors observed employees working in an inadequately protected trench in St. Charles, Missouri. OSHA found that J.H. Berra Construction Co. failed to use a protective system in an excavation, exposing employees to struck-by and engulfment hazards, and failed to ensure a competent person conducted daily inspections for hazards prior to allowing employees to enter a trench.
OSHA cited the St. Louis-based company for one willful and two serious citations for failing to protect employees from cave-in hazards following its February 14, 2019, investigation.
J.H. Berra Construction Co. faces penalties of $143,206.
In Sioux Falls, South Dakota, OSHA cited Midwest Excavating LLC for exposing employees to trench cave-in hazards. Proposed penalties are $58,343.
OSHA initiated an inspection of the jobsite after receiving a complaint of employees allegedly working in an inadequately protected trench. Inspectors determined that there was a potential for a trench collapse due to the presence of water, vertical walls, and a depth greater than seven feet. OSHA cited Midwest Excavating for one willful and one serious citation for failing to protect employees from cave-in hazards.
OSHA recently updated the National Emphasis Program on preventing trenching and excavation collapses, and developed a series of compliance assistance resources to help keep workers safe from these hazards. The agency’s trenching and excavation webpage provides additional information on trenching hazards and solutions. The page includes a trenching operations QuickCard on protecting workers around trenches, and the “Protect Workers in Trenches” poster that provides a quick reminder of the three ways to prevent dangerous trench collapses.