US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Stillion Brothers Excavation of
Perrysburg, Ohio, for failing to protect workers from possible trench collapses
PERRYSBURG, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Perrysburg-based Stillion Brothers Excavation Inc. with five safety – including two willful – violations for failing to protect workers from trench cave-ins at a job site in Columbus Grove. Proposed penalties total $72,820.
OSHA initiated an inspection on Dec. 15, 2011, under the agency's National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation. Six workers were installing 20-foot-long steel plates into a 12-foot-deep trench using a hydraulic excavator with a swivel hook that was not equipped with a safety latch.
"The employer is responsible for ensuring that workers are properly protected from known workplace hazards such as being struck by equipment or materials as well as trench cave-ins – a leading cause of death and injury in excavation work," said Kim Nelson, OSHA's area director in Toledo. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers, especially when employers fail to do so."
The willful violations are failing to provide required cave-in protection and remove defective rigging on the excavator from service. 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.
Three serious violations include a lack of fall and head protection, and not having a working backup alarm on the excavator. 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.
The company was cited for violating OSHA's trenching protection standards in March 2011 at a Westminster site and in August 2010 at a Caldwell site.
OSHA's 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.
Stillion Brothers Excavation 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 Toledo Area Office at 419-259-7542.
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 or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755