Pa. Firm Fined $48,500 Following Worker's Trench Entrapment

OSHA has cited J.L. Fink Inc. for one alleged willful and six serious safety and health violations at its worksite in Hollidaysburg, Pa., proposing a total of $48,500 in penalties. The agency's Pittsburgh Area Office initiated an investigation May 11 after being notified by Blair County Search and Rescue that a worker installing a sewer line was trapped in a trench.

"The lack of cave-in protection leaves employees at grave risk of injury or death due to trench cave-ins," said Robert Szymanski, OSHA's Pittsburgh Area director. "Excavation contractors must take the appropriate steps in accordance with OSHA's construction standards to ensure they are digging trenches and not graves."

The agency issued a willful citation for the company's failing to provide cave-in protection for employees working in a trench excavation six feet deep with vertical walls. Cave-in protective systems can include sloping and benching of the soil of various shoring methods to prevent soil collapse, as well as the use of trench shields, OSHA noted. The agency defines a willful violation as one committed with intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

The serious violations include the company's failure to initiate and implement an accident prevention program, adequately inspect the jobsite, and instruct employees in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions and regulations at the site, as well as failure to provide a means of egress from the trench. A serious violation is one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Pittsburgh, or contest the citations and the proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping there are always questions regarding the requirements and in and outs. IndustrySafe is here to help. We put together this page with critical information to help answer your key questions about OSHA recordkeeping.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We put together a guide that’s easy to digest so you can ensure you're complying with OSHA's training standards.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus