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Jan. 28, 2016

OSHA cites employer for exposing Katy, Texas workers to trenching hazards
Hurtado Construction Co. fined more than $86K for five safety violations

Employer name: Hurtado Construction Co., Richmond, Texas

Inspection Site: Corner of Mae Street and Avenue D, Katy, Texas

Citations issued: Jan. 22, 2016

Investigation findings: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration began an inspection on August 19, 2015 under the agency's National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation. Following the inspection, OSHA issued citations for one serious and four repeat violations.

  • The serious violation involved failing to provide adequate protection in excavations where employees were working in areas with accumulated water.
  • The repeat violations include failing to provide a safe means of egress, failing to provide protection from excavated materials, failing to inspect an excavation prior to the start of work, and failing to provide adequate cave-in protection such as sloping, benching or using a protective shield system.

Proposed penalties: $86,240

Quote: "A trench cave-in can take a life in a matter of seconds. Repeatedly exposing workers to trenching hazards without adequate protections is unconscionable," said Joann Figueroa, OSHA's area director in the Houston North office. "OSHA's standards must be followed to prevent workers from being harmed."

Citations: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/HurtadoConstructionCompany1085956.pdf*

Information: Hurtado Construction, which specializes in underground utility construction, employs approximately 90 workers and 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 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 Houston North Area Office at 936-760-3800. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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Media Contacts:

Diana Petterson, 972-850-4710, petterson.diana@dol.gov
Juan Rodriguez, 972-850-4709, rodriguez.juan@dol.gov

Release Number: 16-163-DAL


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).


*Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.


OSHA News Release - Table of Contents

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