March 21, 2016
OSHA cites contractor twice in three months for exposing workers
to dangers of trench cave-ins; proposes more than $64K in fines
Employer name: D&J Enterprises Inc.
Inspection site: 2701 Frederick Road, Opelika, Alabama 36801
Citations issued: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations to D&J Enterprises for one willful and one repeated safety violation. The employer is a full-service contracting company. The agency initiated the inspection on Jan. 13, 2016, as part of its National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation.
Investigation findings: OSHA cited D&J Enterprises with a willful violation for allowing employees to work in an excavation, up to 10-feet deep without cave-in protection, while installing new water and sewer lines. The agency 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. The repeated citation was issued for failure to provide employees information and training to recognize and avoid cave-in hazards.
Background: The agency cited D&J previously after an October 2015 inspection found trenching hazards and failed to provide required hazard training to employees. Originally classified as a willful citation, the trenching hazard was changed to a serious citation as part of the agency's settlement with D&J.
Proposed penalties: $64,350
Quote: "It concerns us that, after settling an October 2015 inspection that found dangerous trench hazards, D&J Enterprises continues to put workers at risk of serious injury or death," said Joseph Roesler, OSHA's area director in Mobile. "The employer has the responsibility for ensuring a safe and healthful job site."
The citations can be viewed at: http://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/OSHA20160465.pdf
Based in Auburn, D&J Enterprises has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint; or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Mobile Area Office at 251-441-6131.
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.
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Release Number: 16-465-ATL (69)
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