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Utility contractor again cited for safety violations

Utility contractor again cited for safety violations

U.S. regulators have again cited a utility contractor for workplace safety violations and proposed $18,659 in penalties.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspected the Naples, Florida worksite of Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Douglas N. Higgins Inc. as part of the agency’s national emphasis program on trenching and excavation, according to a statement Wednesday. OSHA inspectors cited Higgins for allowing employees to work in a trench without cave-in protection and for failing to maintain a safety and health program on excavation hazards.

The agency previously cited the contractor for violations in January 2017 when three employees succumbed to toxic gases while working in a manhole and again in May 2018 after a steel plate fell on and fatally injured an employee.

“Despite being recently cited for violations that contributed to four worker fatalities, this employer continues to disregard well-known safety and health requirements,” Condell Eastmond, OSHA Fort Lauderdale, Florida, area office director, said in the statement. “Employers involved in excavation work must follow safety procedures to ensure that workers are properly protected from a trench collapse and other trench hazards.”

A company spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.



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