Houston Contractor Violates Trench Requirements for Sixth Time in 10 Years

Oscar Renda Contracting faces $124K in OSHA penalties

After an OSHA investigator witnessed workers performing trench excavation work unsafely in Houston, an inspection resulted in citations for a contracting company for allowing employees to work unprotected in excavations and permit required confined spaces.

Oscar Renda Contracting Inc. was issued citations for one willful, 11 serious and two other violations. The willful violation was cited for exposing workers to cave-ins, making this the sixth time in 10 years the company has been cited for such a violation.

"Six times in 10 years, we have found Oscar Renda Contracting risking the lives of its employees in underground trenches. Imagine the fear of working below ground when thousands of pounds of soil begin to fall on you and the likelihood that you will be buried alive because your employer valued a contract more than your life," said Mark Briggs, OSHA's area director in the Houston South office. "OSHA remains firm in its commitment to hold employers accountable for their actions when fundamental common sense and humanity are not enough to make them change."

Serious violations include: allowing unnecessary material and unsupported equipment within two feet of the excavation’s edge, failing to train employees, not verifying permit-required spaces, failing to provide rescue and emergency equipment.

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