Cave-In Hazards at Colorado Excavation Sites Lead to $180,180 Fine

OSHA's Englewood Area Office opened an investigation at a work site in Wheat Ridge on Aug. 30 and a second investigation on Sept. 8 at a site in Colorado Springs, following reports that workers were installing sewer pipes without adequate protection from possible cave-ins.

OSHA has cited Greenwood Village, Colo.-based Pipeline Industries Inc. with seven safety violations for exposing workers to cave-in hazards at excavation work sites in Wheat Ridge and Colorado Springs. Proposed penalties total $180,180.

OSHA's Englewood Area Office opened an investigation at a work site in Wheat Ridge on Aug. 30 and a second investigation on Sept. 8 at a site in Colorado Springs, following reports that workers were installing sewer pipes without adequate protection from possible cave-ins.

Two willful violations include failing to install the required cave-in protection and provide a competent person to remove workers from recognized hazardous conditions.

Two serious violations include failing to maintain specific data for the shoring system in use and to provide a safe means of access and egress from the trench.

Three repeat violations involve failing to ensure the spoil pile was placed at least 2 feet from the edge of the trench at each work site and to repair damaged ladders. Similar violations were cited in 2010 at a Denver work site.

"A trench can quickly become a grave when an employer fails to protect workers from a trenching or excavation cave-in," said David Nelson, area director of OSHA's Englewood office. "The hazards discovered during these inspections are well recognized within the industry, yet this employer chose to put workers in harm's way."

Download Center

  • 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.

  • Online Safety Training Buyer's Guide

    Use this handy buyer's guide to learn the basics of selecting online safety training and how to use it at your workplace.

  • COVID Return-to-Work Checklist, Fall 2021

    Use this checklist as an aid to help your organization return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic in a safe and healthy manner.

  • SDS Buyer's Guide

    Learn to make informed decisions while searching for SDS Management Software.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Industry Safe

Featured Whitepapers

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - November December 2021

    November December 2021

    Featuring:

    • GAS DETECTION
      How to Streamline Gas Detector Maintenance
    • OSHA TOP 10
      OSHA's Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for FY 2021
    • PROTECTIVE APPAREL
      How PPE Can Help You Deal with the Harsh Condition of Winter
    • HEARING PROTECTION
      Tackling Hearing Protection in the Workplace
    View This Issue