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OSHA Regional News Brief
Region 6

Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.


June 28, 2016


OSHA fines underground utility contractor $52K for exposing
workers to repeat, serious excavation hazards

Employer(s) Name(s): S.J. Louis Construction of Texas LTD

Inspection Site: 2525 North Loop West, Suite 220, Houston, Texas 77433

Citations issued: June 30, 2016

Investigation findings: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued citations to S.J. Louis Construction of Texas LTD for two serious and one repeat violation for exposing workers to crushed-by and cave-in hazards when working in an unprotected excavation site in Houston. The agency initiated the inspection in March 2016 when an investigator saw workers exposed to the hazards as he drove by the excavation site. OSHA cited the employer previously for exposing workers to cave-in hazards on February 2012. The inspection was initiated as part of the National Emphasis Program on Excavations.

Proposed Penalties: $52,100.

Quote: "Workers exposed to trenching hazards are in serious and immediate danger. S.J. Lewis failed to comply with common sense safety practices and such repeated negligence will not be tolerated," said Steve DeVine, OSHA's acting area director in the Houston North Area Office. "Every employer is responsible to find and fix hazards in the workplace."

Link to the citations:

Information: S.J. Louis Construction has corporate offices in Rockville, Minnesota, and multiple facilities throughout Texas. It has approximately 420 employees corporate wide with 44 employees working at the Houston facility. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and penalties 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 Houston North office at 936-760-3800. For more information, visit

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Media Contact:

Juan J. Rodríguez, 972-850-4709,

Release Number: 16-1325-DAL

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