OSHA Cites Plumbing Contractor for Safety Failures After Fatal Employee Accident

OSHA Cites Plumbing Contractor for Safety Failures After Fatal Employee Accident

K&D Plumbing Inc. faces $184,387 in proposed penalties for six serious violations.

K&D Plumbing Inc.—a plumbing contractor based in Silver Creek, Ga.—faces OSHA citations following the death of a 34-year-old employee at a Rome, Ga. work site in June 2023.

According to a recent release, the employee was part of a three-person crew working at Armuchee High School when they entered a manhole to clear a sewer line blockage. The result was a 20-foot fall compounded by exposure to a high concentration of hydrogen sulfide gas—measured at 1,910 parts per million (ppm)—far exceeding OSHA's permissible limit of 20 ppm.

OSHA's findings indicated that K&D Plumbing willfully neglected to establish a confined space entry program, which should have included air testing and proper ventilation. The company was cited for six serious violations and proposed penalties totaling $184,387. These include inadequate trench egress, improper controls for water accumulation, failure to inspect the trench by a competent person and failure to ensure safe storage of excavated soil and piping.

“K&D Plumbing’s failure to adhere to industry guidelines resulted in a preventable loss of life,” said OSHA Area Office Director Jeffery Stawowy in Atlanta-West. “Implementing safety controls and training employees to recognize and avoid hazards is every employer’s responsibility.”

K&D Plumbing Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA, or contest the findings before an independent commission.

About the Author

Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor of Occupational Health & Safety.

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