C & G Refrigeration Inc. Named a Severe Violator Again

The Hanover, Pennsylvania, contractor exposed workers to potentially deadly trenching hazards

An August 2014 complaint investigation by OSHA has found that C & G Refrigeration Inc. exposed workers to potentially deadly trenching hazards while they performed underground utility work at a residence in Hanover. Investigators observed an employee working at the bottom of an unprotected trench that was 13-feet deep. They also observed a trench that was not widened with approved methods, such as benching or sloping, and determined that the employer did not provide any physical protection, such as trench shields or boxes.

“An unprotected trench can quickly become a grave without the proper safeguards in place. This is why it is critical for employers in this industry to ensure that trenching safeguards are in place,” said Kevin Kilp, director of OSHA’s Harrisburg Area Office. “This employer’s history shows that it is fully aware of the dangers of trenching and excavation, yet they continue to put their worker’s lives at risk.”

C & G was placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program due to four willful violations related to trenching hazards, including: allowing employees to work in a trench without protection from a cave-in or an adequate protective system; failure to protect employees from hazards by ensuring unsafe excavation materials were kept at least two feet back from the excavation’s edge; failure to instruct employees in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions while performing trenching and excavation work; and failure to have a competent person conduct an investigation of the excavation.

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