Ohio Plumbing Contractor Cited for Multiple Hazards Following Employee Fatality

Payne Enterprises Inc. has been placed in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program after an employee was killed in a trench collapse. The company has two repeated violations as it was cited for violations related to the trench collapse in 2017 and 2018.

Payne Enterprises Inc., an Ohio plumbing contractor, has been cited for exposing employees to multiple trenching and excavation hazards following an employee fatality and now faces penalties of $145,860.

An employee suffered fatally injuries in a trench collapse at a residential construction site in Bellbrook, Ohio, and following the fatality, OSHA cited the company for two repeated violations for not having a competent individual inspect the trench before allowing employees to enter, and for failing to install an adequate protective system to prevent the trench collapse. As the company was cited for similar violations in 2017 and 2018, the company has been placed in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

“Tragedies such as this are preventable when employers comply with safety standards that exist to protect workers from trenching hazards,” said OSHA Area Director Ken Montgomery, in Cincinnati, Ohio. “OSHA regulations require employers to slope, shore, or shield trench walls to prevent cave-ins.”

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

For more information on protecting workers from trenching hazards are available on OSHA’s trenching and excavation webpage.

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