Contractor Willfully Exposed Workers to Potential Cave-In

D.S. Meyer Enterprise LLC has been fined $52,500 for the violation

OSHA has issued five serious violations and one willful violation to D.S. Meyer Enterprises LLC of Waldwick, New Jersey, according to a news release.

OSHA was notified of an imminent danger created by unprotected trench hazards as workers repaired an underground water line on Jan. 19, 2016. A willful violation was given for allowing the worker to be exposed to a cave-in hazard. Serious citations were given for failing to ensure that workers in the trench wore hard hats, exposing workers to a spoil pile containing rocks and asphalt just inches from the open trench, and use of an improper ladder for accessing the trench.

"Despite knowing cave-in protection was required, D.S. Meyer Enterprises chose instead to willfully expose workers in that trench to life-threatening conditions," said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA's Parsippany Area Office. "The fatality rate for excavation work is 112 percent higher than the rate for general construction. Trench protection systems are more than a required OSHA safety standard; they are a matter of life and death."

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