OSHA Unearths Trenching Hazards at Wisconsin Worksite

"McHugh Excavating & Plumbing has the responsibility of ensuring that its employees are properly protected from known workplace hazards such as trench cave-ins," said Kim Stille, OSHA's area director in Madison.

OSHA has cited McHugh Excavating & Plumbing Inc. of Onalaska, Wis., for one willful and one repeat safety violation for failing to protect workers from trench cave-ins at a job site in Madison, Wis. Proposed penalties total $64,450.

"McHugh Excavating & Plumbing has the responsibility of ensuring that its employees are properly protected from known workplace hazards such as trench cave-ins," said Kim Stille, OSHA's area director in Madison. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers, especially when employers fail to do so."

OSHA's inspection was conducted under the agency's National Emphasis Program for Trenching and Excavation. The willful violation involves failing to provide cave-in protection to workers installing sewer lines in a trench approximately 6 feet deep.

The repeat violation involves failing to provide a competent person to conduct an inspection of the trench's protective system to prevent cave-in hazards. McHugh Excavating was cited for this violation at a job site in Madison in November 2008 and at a site in New Glarus in May 2009.

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