Trench violations result in $212,158 in proposed fines for Mo. contractor

An instance of an unsafe trench.

A Missouri contractor faces $212,158 in proposed penalties for exposing staff to potential trench collapse, in response to the U.S. Occupational Security & Well being Administration.

R.V. Wagner Inc. of Affton, Missouri, was putting in concrete stormwater pipes January 11 in St. Louis with no trench field or different trench safety and no secure exit from the ditch, OSHA mentioned.

The company cited Wagner with two willful violations, probably the most critical, for these infractions and cited it with these critical violations: excavated materials inside 2 toes of an open trench, no each day worksite inspections, and staff uncovered to crushing hazards and never carrying arduous hats. No staff have been injured.

The violations have been discovered January 11 when staff have been changing a concrete storm pipe in an excavation that was 7.5 toes deep and 6 toes extensive, in response to the quotation. There was no safety in place to forestall cave-in. Staff have been utilizing a steep earthen ramp with a 50- to 60-degree incline to enter and exit the ditch, however the path was blocked by an excavator bucket. That left staff greater than 25 toes from a secure method to get out and in of the ditch.

The quotation additionally mentioned that an worker within the trench was working underneath an excavator that was lifting 1,000 kilos of 15-inch bolstered concrete pipe, which induced a possible crushing hazard. The ditch additionally had a spoil pile, pressure cracks and unfastened particles between zero and 12 inches from the highest fringe of the excavation, and staff beneath weren’t carrying arduous hats.

The corporate has 15 enterprise days from the receipt of the quotation, issued on July eight, to contest the OSHA violations or request an off-the-cuff convention.

“Employers should be sure that staff enter trenches solely after enough protections are in place to deal with cave-in hazards,” mentioned OSHA St. Louis Space Director Invoice McDonald. “A trench collapse can occur in simply seconds, doubtlessly burying staff underneath 1000’s of kilos of soil and inflicting extreme harm.”

For extra on the enterprise and human prices of trench-collapse fatalities in america, see Tools World’s particular report “Demise by Trench”.