A contractor faces $169,000 in OSHA fines after an inspection revealed cave-in hazards at a construction site.
Penney Construction Co. of Hartford, CT, received two willful citations with $140,000 in fines. That’s the maximum fine allowed by law for willful violations.
- a trench lacked protection to prevent the walls from collapsing onto workers
- the cave-in hazard was intensified by the presence of an unsupported sidewalk and catch basin overhanging trench, and
- even after being informed that the conditions posed an imminent danger, the employer continued to send workers into the trench.
Five serious violations with $29,000 in fines involve:
- rocks and soil falling into the trench
- not testing a sewer line for hazardous atmospheres
- lack of personal protective equipment, and
- not adequately training workers to recognize the hazards associated with their work.
OSHA has placed Penney Construction into its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which includes mandatory follow-up inspections.
Penney Construction has 15 days from receipt of the citations to decide whether to contest them.