September 6, 2016
More than $121K in OSHA fines proposed for construction companies
that exposed workers to trench cave-in hazards at Austin project
Employers' name: Austin Constructors LLC and Muniz Concrete and Contracting Inc.
Worksite location: Colorado St., Austin, Texas 78701
Citations issued: Sept. 6, 2016
Investigation findings: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Austin Constructors LLC for one willful and three serious violations involving trenching hazards. The willful violation was for not having an adequate protective system in place for employees in the trench. The serious violations were for failing to support and cover utility lines in the trench, not protecting employees from loose rock or soil, and for not providing guardrails on walkways over the trench.
The company in charge of the worksite, Muniz Concrete and Contracting Inc., was also cited for one serious violation for exposing workers to trench cave-in hazards. The inspection was initiated April 28, 2016, at the City of Austin Street Reconstruction and Utility Adjustment Project. OSHA opened this inspection as part of OSHA's National Emphasis Program for trenching and excavations.
Proposed Penalties: Austin Constructors LLC, $113,486; Muniz Concrete and Contracting Inc., $7,857
Quote: "There are roughly 54 fatalities associated with excavations each year, such as the one that happened in Lockhart this past week, because employers failed to take the necessary measures to keep them safe," said Casey R. Perkins, OSHA's area director in Austin. "These employers knew better, and they are fortunate we inspected them before any of their employees were seriously injured or killed."
Information: Austin Constructors LLC, and Muniz Concrete and Contracting Inc., have 15 business days from receipt of their 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 amputations, eye loss, 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 Austin office at 512-374-0271.
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Release Number: 16-1812-DAL
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