MIAMI, FL – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Archer Western Construction Inc. for safety violations after two employees suffered fatal injuries while performing trenching activities at a Miami worksite.
OSHA inspectors determined that a section of a concrete highway barrier collapsed on the two employees as they removed a storm drain system. The Atlanta-based company faces $33,259 in proposed fines, including the maximum penalties for exposing employees to struck-by hazards by allowing them to work near a concrete barrier that was not shored, braced, or underpinned; and allowing employees to perform trenching work in an area that was not inspected for hazards. The investigation was part of OSHA's National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation.
"Trenching and excavation work is especially dangerous when appropriate protective systems are not used," said OSHA Fort Lauderdale Area Office Director Condell Eastmond. "This tragedy could have been prevented if the employer had ensured that adjoining structures were shored, braced, or underpinned to avoid a collapse."
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to help ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov.