US Department of Labor's OSHA cites G & J Enterprises after
worker injured during trench collapse in Loveland, Ohio
LOVELAND, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Morrow-based G & J Enterprises with three safety – including one willful – violations, after a worker suffered a back injury when a trench caved in during the installation of an 8-foot-deep sewer line on Jan. 19 in Loveland. Proposed penalties total $49,200.
The willful violation was for failing to provide workers with cave-in protection. 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.
Two serious violations include failing to require workers to use head protection as well as to train workers to recognize the hazards involved in excavation work. 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.
"G & J Enterprises is responsible for ensuring that its employees are properly protected from known workplace hazards such as trench cave-ins, a leading cause of injuries and deaths in excavation work," said Bill Wilkerson, OSHA's area director in Cincinnati. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers, especially when employers fail to do so."
OSHA standards mandate that all excavations 5 feet or deeper be protected against collapse. Detailed information on trenching and excavation hazards is available at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/trenchingexcavation/index.html.
The company was cited by OSHA in 2011 and 2009 for violations of trench protection standards.
G & J Enterprises has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and 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.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report 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 Cincinnati Area Office at 513-841-4132.
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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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.