OSHA Cites Oklahoma Contractor Following Trench Collapse Fatality

OSHA Cites Oklahoma Contractor Following Trench Collapse Fatality

The firm is looking at penalties totaling $82,149.

Caney, Oklahoma-based Rocking L Dozer and Land Management LLC—a provider of construction and land management services—is now under scrutiny due to OSHA violations.

According to an OSHA release dated Sept. 25, an investigation into Rocking L Dozer and Land Management unveiled serious safety breaches at the company's McAlester, Oklahoma work site. The inquiry began after a trench collapse in May 2023 resulted in the tragic death of a project manager. The inspection revealed that the company failed to comply with federal safety standards, thereby putting its employees in harm's way while the team was working on a 10-foot-deep excavation around a newly replaced sewer line.

The main offense listed was a willful violation for not employing protective systems in trenches deeper than five feet. Other major violations included failure to secure obstacles near the trench, neglecting to ensure safe trench entry and exit, allowing water to accumulate inside the trench, and not conducting daily safety inspections. All in all, Rocking L Dozer and Land Management faces penalties of $82,149.

“A worker has lost their life because Rocking L Dozer and Land Management disregarded its responsibility to ensure the safety of its employees,” OSHA Area Director Steven Kirby in Oklahoma City said in a statement. “Employers are required by law to follow safety and health procedures that are put in place to prevent tragedies like this from occurring. OSHA is available to assist employers with complying with agency standards.”

Rocking L Dozer and Land Management now has been 15 business days from the receipt of the citation and penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s area director, or challenge the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

About the Author

Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor of Occupational Health & Safety.

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