Mississippi Trench Death Leads to $73,500 Fine

OSHA has cited Phillips Construction in Hernando, Miss., with nine safety violations following an October 2008 trench collapse in Horn Lake, Miss., that resulted in the death of one worker and injury to another. The total $73,500 in proposed penalties the company faces includes one willful citation that alone is worth $49,000 for failing to provide cave-in protection, such as shoring, sloping, or a trench box, for its employees. The agency defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.

In addition, the agency has cited six serious safety violations with $21,000 in proposed penalties for the company's failing to develop and maintain safety and health programs, provide training on trenching hazards, provide personal protective equipment, provide a means of egress from the trench, keep excavated soil at least two feet away from the trench edge, and remove surface encumbrances from the trench side. A serious violation is issued when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known.

Also, the company has been cited with two other-than-serious violations with $3,500 in proposed penalties for failing to notify OSHA of a fatality within eight hours of the incident. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Jackson, Miss., or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Download Center

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program.

  • Job Hazard Analysis Guide

    This guide includes details on how to conduct a thorough Job Hazard Analysis, and it's based directly on an OSHA publication for conducting JHAs. Learn how to identify potential hazards associated with each task of a job and set controls to mitigate hazard risks.

  • A Guide to Practicing “New Safety”

    Learn from safety professionals from around the world as they share their perspectives on various “new views” of safety, including Safety Differently, Safety-II, No Safety, Human and Organizational Performance (HOP), Resilience Engineering, and more in this helpful guide.

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • EHS Software Buyer's Guide

    Learn the keys to staying organized, staying sharp, and staying one step ahead on all things safety. This buyer’s guide is designed for you to use in your search for the safety management solution that best suits your company’s needs.

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - July August 2022

    July / August 2022

    Featuring:

    • CONFINED SPACES
      Specific PPE is Needed for Entry and Exit
    • HAZARD COMMUNICATION
      Three Quick Steps to Better HazCom Training
    • GAS DETECTION
      Building a Chemical Emergency Toolkit
    • RESPIRATORY PROTECTION
      The Last Line of Defense
    View This Issue