Largo, Fla., excavation company cited for safety violations
following 2 worker injuries, fined nearly $54,000
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – All American Concrete Inc. in Largo has been cited for two safety violations by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration following an incident that injured two workers who were installing a storm water culvert at 27 Avenue and Park Street in St. Petersburg. Proposed penalties total $53,900.
In February, a bucket was removed from a back hoe and placed at the edge of an excavation. Two employees were working in the excavation when the bucket fell into the trench, crushing the leg of one worker and bruising the back of another.
The company was cited for one willful safety violation, with a penalty of $49,000, for failing to slope the excavation correctly. Management had prior knowledge of the OSHA requirements related to trenching and excavation hazards. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
All American Concrete also was cited for one serious safety violation related to the incident, with a penalty of $4,900, for allowing the bucket to be at the edge of an excavation where it could pose a hazard by falling or rolling into the excavation. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
"This employer knew OSHA's rules with regard to excavations and trenching but chose to cut corners to save time, exposing the workers to potential injury or death," said Les Grove, OSHA's area director in Tampa.
Detailed information on hazards and safeguards related to trenching and excavation is available online at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/trenchingexcavation/index.html.
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. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Tampa Area Office, located at 5807 Breckenridge Parkway, Suite A, Tampa, Fla. 33610; telephone 813-626-1177. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
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.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.