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The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced Monday it is proposing penalties of $190,642 after citing El Paso Underground Construction for failing to protect its employees from trench collapse hazards.
OSHA investigators conducted an inspection after observing employees working in an unprotected trench and subsequently cited the company for failing to provide employees a safe means of entering and exiting a trench, not protecting employees against cave-ins, and for failing to train employees in safe work practices, according to a press statement.
It marked the fifth time in two years OSHA has cited the company for failing to protect employees from trench collapse hazards. The company was cited four times in 2017, putting it in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program, according to the statement.
"This company has once again put their employees at serious risk by failing to provide training and implement required trenching protections," El Paso, Texas-based OSHA area office director Diego Alvarado said in the statement. "Unprotected trenches can be fatal, and it is fortunate that no one was injured."
Officials with El Paso Underground Construction could not immediately be reached for comment.
U.S. workplace safety regulators have cited an Illinois-based cardboard box manufacturer for exposing employees to unprotected machinery and amputation hazards and have proposed penalties of $66,612.