OSHA Cites Plumbing Contractor for Deliberately Ignoring OSHA Safety Standards

Stephens Plumbing Inc. has been issued one willful and four serious safety violations.

According to a news release from OSHA, Stephens Plumbing Inc., has been cited for one willful and four serious safety violations after an inspector saw workers in a trench without protection.

A willful vitiation was issued for allowing employees to work in an excavation up to 10-feet deep without cave-in protection. Serious citations were given for not providing workers with information and training to recognize and avoid cave-in hazards, not providing a safe means to enter and exit the excavation, failing to ensure soil removed from the trench was not placed directly on the edge of the opening, and allowing employees to work in an excavation with water accumulated in the bottom.

“Stephens Plumbing knew the excavation was unsafe, but they put workers in the trench anyway, because management said ‘the job needed to get done’,” said Joseph Roesler, OSHA’s area director in Mobile. “Luckily, a compliance officer was there to stop the work before a collapse occurred. It only takes seconds for trench to collapse and bury an employee under thousands of pounds of earth, often resulting in serious injury or death.”

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