January 30, 2020
U.S. Department of Labor Cites Two Alabama Contractors
For Exposing Employees to Hazards After Fatal Trench Collapse
HOOVER, AL – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited two Alabama contractors – OLA Inc. and Calloway Inc. – for exposing employees to excavation hazards after two workers suffered fatal injuries in a trench collapse on a residential project in Hoover, Alabama. The contractors face $88,482 in penalties.
OSHA cited OLA Inc. – operating as Outdoor Living Areas Inc. – and Calloway Inc. – operating as American Lawn Co. – for allowing employees to work in a trench without hard hats and cave-in protection. OSHA also cited the contractors for failing to train employees on excavation hazards, provide a safe entry and exit from the trench, place soil piles away from trench edges and ensure a competent person inspected the trench before allowing employees to enter.
"Employers are legally required to slope, shore or shield trench walls to avoid a collapse, and must ensure that workers are properly trained and use approved equipment to prevent serious or fatal injuries," said OSHA Birmingham Area Director Ramona Morris.
OSHA recently updated the National Emphasis Program on preventing injuries related to trenching and excavation collapses. OSHA’s trenching and excavation webpage provides additional information on trenching hazards and solutions, including a trenching operations QuickCard and a "Protect Workers in Trenches" poster.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the 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 help 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 https://www.osha.gov.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.
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Release Number: 20-118-ATL (31)
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