Pipe Layer's Death in Trench Leads to $44,500 Penalty

OSHA's area office in Boise, Idaho, has cited Bowman's Inc. of Mountain Home, Idaho, for violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act related to unsafe working conditions in trenches, resulting in a fatality at a worksite in Pocatello, Idaho.

The agency's investigation following the death of a pipe layer buried in a trench on Sept. 16, 2009, found two alleged willful and three alleged serious violations. Proposed penalties against Bowman's, a plumbing and HVAC contractor, total $44,500.

"Unprotected trenches can become deathtraps in an instant when cave-ins occur," said Richard S. Terrill, OSHA's regional administrator in Seattle. "This employer did not take the necessary steps to address hazards ahead of time and to educate employees on safe trench operations."

The willful violations involve a foreman who was aware of the hazardous conditions and failed to act, and failing to provide cave-in protection for employees working outside the trench shield. OSHA issues a willful citation when an employer exhibits plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.

The alleged serious violations are for failing to protect workers exposed to an unsupported, exposed active gas line; failing to provide a ladder for access and exit of employees working outside of the trench shield; and improper use of the trench shield.

OSHA standards mandate that all excavations 5 feet or deeper be protected against collapse. Detailed information on trenching and excavation hazards is available on OSHA's Web site at www.osha.gov/SLTC/trenchingexcavation/index.html.

Bowman's has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Boise, or contest the findings 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