OSHA Sends Message to Texas Pipe-Laying Company

The inspection was conducted in February 2018 after OSHA personnel saw employees working in an unprotected trench; OSHA cited the company for serious and willful violations.

OSHA has issued penalties totaling $190,642 to El Paso Underground Construction, a pipe-laying company, after the latest inspection found the company has repeatedly failed to protect employees from trench collapse hazards, according to the federal agency.

OSHA also has placed El Paso Underground Construction in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

The inspection was conducted in February 2018 after OSHA personnel saw employees working in an unprotected trench; OSHA cited the company for serious and willful violations -- failing to provide employees a safe means of entering and exiting a trench, not protecting employees against cave-ins, and failing to train employees in safe work practices. OSHA reported that it had cited the Texas company four times in 2017 for failing to protect employees from trench collapse hazards.

"This company has once again put their employees at serious risk by failing to provide training and implement required trenching protections," said Diego Alvarado, OSHA Area Office director in El Paso. "Unprotected trenches can be fatal, and it is fortunate that no one was injured."

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