Powered by GoogleTranslate
OSHA News Release - Table of Contents

DOL Logo OSHA Regional News Brief – Region 8

U.S. Department of Labor

April 29, 2015

Colorado utility installers expose workers to possible trench collapse
K.R. Swerdfeger Construction Inc. and Pate Construction Co. Inc. cited for failing to provide
cave-in protections; proposed fines top $101K

Employer name: K.R. Swerdfeger Construction Inc. and Pate Construction Co. Inc.

Inspection sites: Pueblo and Penrose, Colorado

Date inspection initiated and what prompted the inspection: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration began its inspections in March under the agency's National Emphasis Program on Trenches. The Swerdfeger inspection in Pueblo was prompted by a complaint and the Pate inspection in Penrose began after an OSHA compliance officer observed an unprotected trench.

Investigation findings: OSHA cited Swerdfeger for one willful violation, with a penalty of $49,500, for failing to protect workers from cave-ins. OSHA also issued one serious violation, with a penalty of $2,700, for placing workers in a trench more than 4 feet deep without a safe exit. Pate was also cited for one willful violation, with a penalty of $49,000, for failing to protect workers from cave-ins.

Total proposed penalties: $101,200

Quote: "A trench cave-in happens so quickly a worker has no time to react, and the results are often fatal," said David Nelson, OSHA's area director in Englewood, Colorado. "Shoring trench walls for support is not a new practice in the construction industry, yet both of these employers chose to ignore this commonsense safety system."

Citations: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/PateConst-1050796-0427-15.pdf and http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/K.R.Swerdfeger-1048029-0427-15.pdf

Information: The utility installation employer 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.

For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

# # #

Media Contacts:

Diana Petterson, 972-850-4710, petterson.diana@dol.gov
Juan Rodriguez, 972-850-4703, rodriguez.juan@dol.gov

Release Number: 15-767-DEN

U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The department's Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).

OSHA News Release - Table of Contents

Thank You for Visiting Our Website

You are exiting the Department of Labor's Web server.

The Department of Labor does not endorse, takes no responsibility for, and exercises no control over the linked organization or its views, or contents, nor does it vouch for the accuracy or accessibility of the information contained on the destination server. The Department of Labor also cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked Web sites. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked Web site. Thank you for visiting our site. Please click the button below to continue.