The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined Chicago-based construction company B&T Underground $76,340 for a number of safety violations, mostly involving exposing workers to trench cave-ins. The company had already been cited four times in 2011 and 2012 for violations including failing to provide a safe means of entering and exiting a trench, not protecting workers from possible collapses of undermined portions of the sidewalk and street and workers not wearing hard hats or reflective vests.
The latest investigation began in March and found that a six-foot-deep trench was not secured to avoid cave-ins, which OSHA requires for any trench of more than five feet. Employees were also seen working by the side of an active road without flags or sign paddles. The inspections final tally was seven violations of varying severity, one willful, two serious and four repeated, leading to the aforementioned fine.
Ignorance of essential construction site safety regulations is unacceptable, and will result in financial losses for cited companies. As the director of OSHA's Chicago North area warns, "Trench cave-ins can bury a worker in minutes and result in numerous fatalities and injuries every year."
Safety consulting and training programs are ideal solutions for companies that want to ensure their workers' well-being and their own adherence to OSHA rules and regulations. Behavior based safety programs in particular are aimed toward making certain that workers and supervisors know what safety measures each situation calls for and what to do when those measures are not in place. A safety solutions provider can also send a qualified professional to supervise site conditions, check for OSHA compliance and eliminate possible hazards to worker safety.