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Construction firms cited for safety violations after collapse


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited and issued combined proposed penalties of $151,200 to a construction contractor and a temporary staffing agency for alleged workplace safety violations related to an excavation collapse in Montana, the administration announced on Wednesday.

Missoula, Montana-based Glennco Excavating Inc. was cited for one willful, two serious and three repeat violations for a lack of adequate cave-in protection, failure to remove employees from the excavation when cave-in hazards were present and subjecting employees to possible head injuries, among other alleged violations, according to the citations document. The administration proposed a fine of $130,200 against the contractor.

Excavation collapses typically occur when soil, rock and other materials are being removed from a construction site and a trench or other mechanism built to conduct the excavation collapses.

Labor Ready Northwest Inc., a unit of Tacoma, Washington-based TrueBlue, was cited for three serious violations related to a lack of adequate training, no safe means of egress in excavations and a lack of adequate cave-in protection, according to the citations document. The temporary staffing agency faces a proposed $21,000 fine, according to the administration.

OSHA initiated the March inspection at the Missoula construction site after receiving a complaint alleging an employee had been partially buried when an excavation collapsed, the administration said.

“Temporary staffing agencies and host employers share control over workers and are therefore jointly responsible for their safety and health,” Art Hazen, OSHA's acting area director in Billings, Montana, said in Wednesday's statement. “These employers did not exercise their ultimate responsibility. Just because you hire a temporary employee does not mean that you can assume that the temporary employer has addressed all safety concerns and requirements, and the same can be said for the temporary staffing agency.”

A Glennco employee declined to comment, while Labor Ready could not be immediately reached for comment.