A Pennsylvania excavating company has been cited by OSHA with 12 safety violations after two inspections were conducted following the discovery of unsupervised trenches. The violations involved trenching hazards that have the potential to cause serious workplace accidents.

Two of the alleged willful violations involved failing to provide a protective system for preventing a trench cave-in. A violation is considered willful when it is committed with intention or willful disregard for the requirements of the law or indifference to the health and safety of workers. Additionally, the company was cited for five repeat violations. One was for allegedly for failing to provide instruction to workers on the recognition and avoidance of hazardous conditions while another was for failing to provide a safe way for workers to leave the trenches.

A violation is considered a repeat if an employer has been cited within the previous five years for the same or a similar violation. This company had reportedly been cited for similar violations in 2008 and 2009. As a result of the type of hazards and the violations, the company has been placed into OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program. The program requires targeted follow-up inspections that are meant to ensure that the company complies with the law, and it focuses on employers who endanger workers by committing intentional and repeat violations.

Workers who have been injured on the job may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney may be able to assist an injured worker to file a workers’ compensation claim. The attorney might be able to help a worker prepare for litigation and provide representation in court and obtain a beneficial settlement amount for the injured worker.

Source: EHStoday.com, “OSHA Cites Lumadue Excavating for Allegedly Exposing Workers to Trenching Hazards”, Sandy Smith, May 03, 2013