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U.S. federal workplace safety regulators have cited and proposed $130,552 in fines against a Georgia construction company for failing to protect its employees from trench collapse hazards.
U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors observed employees of Garden City, Georgia-based Dustcom Limited Inc. installing water lines in an unprotected trench, according to a statement published on Tuesday. OSHA cited the company for exposing employees to cave-in hazards, failing to appoint a competent person to ensure the use of cave-in protection, using a damaged ladder for entering and exiting a trench and failing to place a soil pile at least 24 inches from the edge of the excavation.
“Excavations without cave-in protection are life-threatening for the employees who work in them,” OSHA Area Director Margo Westmoreland, in Savannah, Georgia, said in a statement. “Employers must ensure that proper safeguards are in place to prevent putting workers at risk.”
A company spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued 18 citations, including 10 willful violations, and $1.5 million in proposed fines against a drain services company after two of its employees died in a trench collapse last year.