US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Houston-based
Conrad Construction for potential trenching hazards
HOUSTON - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Conrad Construction Co. Inc. in Houston with one alleged willful and two alleged serious violations for failing to protect workers who were replacing manholes on an existing storm sewer line. Proposed penalties total $40,000.
"OSHA has specific standards to prevent trenching accidents such as cave-ins," said David Doucet, OSHA's director for its Houston North Area Office. "It is fortunate in this case that no one was injured."
OSHA's Houston North Area Office began the investigation on July 7 on Imperial Valley Drive and found violations of workplace safety standards. A willful violation was issued for failing to protect workers from hazards associated with excavation cave-ins. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.
Serious violations were issued for failing to provide a safe means of egress for access in and out of the excavation and for failing to locate construction materials at a distance of 2 feet from the edge of the trench. A serious violation is one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Conrad Construction, which employs about 80 workers, specializes in concrete street paving and underground utilities. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the Houston North Area Director or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Employers and employees with questions about workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's Houston North Area Office at 281-591-2438 or the Houston South Area Office at 281-286-0583. To report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline number at 800-321-OSHA (321-6742).
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 assure 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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