U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR CITES JACKSONVILLE UTILITIES CONTRACTOR FOR WILLFUL AND SERIOUS SAFETY VIOLATIONS AFTER TRENCH CAVE-IN
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Jax Utilities Management Inc., a Jacksonville utilities contractor, for exposing employees to trenching hazards. The company faces proposed penalties of $271,606.
OSHA initiated its investigation after an employee was injured and hospitalized when an unprotected trench collapsed. Willful citations were issued for exposing employees to struck-by and caught-in hazards, and allowing employees to work without cave-in protection. The company was also issued a serious citation for allowing water to accumulate in the trench,which contributed to the collapse. The investigation was part of OSHA’s National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation. Jax Utilities Management Inc. has been placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
“Trenching and excavation hazards are preventable,” said Brian Sturtecky, OSHA Jacksonville Area Office Director. “This employer knowingly exposed employees to dangerous and potentially fatal hazards, and this injury could have been avoided if the employer had used required protective systems.”
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed 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.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.