Mo. contractor fined $210,037 for repeat trench violations

A contractor in Missouri was issued penalties for trench violations in extra of $200,000 and is being positioned within the Extreme Violator Enforcement Program for repeat offenses.

Blue Nile Contractors of Birmingham, Missouri, was issued citations totaling $210,037 by the U.S. Occupational Security and Well being Administration, partly for not defending staff from potential trench collapse.

On Might 29 on a Kansas Metropolis jobsite, OSHA reported Blue Nile employee was in an excavation over 5 toes deep and 47 toes lengthy that had water in it that compromised the ditch partitions. Excavated supplies had been inside 2 toes of the excavation’s edge, and there was no safety system to forestall collapse. There was additionally no ladder or different means for staff to get out and in of the ditch inside 25 toes.

All of those had been repeat offenses, in line with OSHA, citing earlier incidents in 2016 and 2018.

OSHA additionally reported that the roadway was undermined and there was no safety system to forestall cave-in.

Blue Nile was additionally cited within the Might 29 incident for not defending staff from electrical shock and burns. A wire to an electrical pump within the trench was lacking the bottom pin; there have been no floor fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) on the WEN gas-powered generator that was powering the pump; and the truck-mounted generator was not grounded to the grounding conduct terminal within the body of the generator or truck.

For the repeat violations, Blue Nile has been positioned in OSHA’s Extreme Violator Enforcement Program, “which concentrates assets on inspecting employers who’ve demonstrated indifference to their OSH Act obligations by committing willful, repeated or failure-to-abate violations.”

“Trench collapses could be fast and trigger severe or deadly accidents, however they’re preventable,” stated OSHA Kansas Metropolis Space Director Karena Lorek. “Employers should guarantee that there’s a secure approach to enter and exit a trench, cave-in safety is used, all supplies are positioned away from the ditch’s edge, standing water and different hazards are addressed, and nobody enters a trench earlier than it has been correctly inspected.”

For extra on the enterprise and human prices of trench-collapse fatalities in the USA, see Gear World’s particular report “Loss of life by Trench“.