U.S. Department of Labor Cites Ohio Plumbing Contractor For Exposing Employees to Trenching Hazards Following Fatality
DAYTON, OH ‒ The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Payne Enterprises Inc. – a plumbing contractor based in Dayton, Ohio – for exposing employees to multiple trenching and excavation hazards following an employee fatality. The company faces penalties of $145,860.
The employee suffered fatally injuries in a trench collapse at a residential construction site in Bellbrook, Ohio. OSHA cited Payne Enterprises Inc. for two repeated violations for not having a competent individual inspect the trench before allowing employees to enter, and for failing to install an adequate protective system to prevent the trench collapse. OSHA cited the company for similar violations in 2017 and 2018. The Agency has placed the company in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
“Tragedies such as this are preventable when employers comply with safety standards that exist to protect workers from trenching hazards,” said OSHA Area Director Ken Montgomery, in Cincinnati, Ohio. “OSHA regulations require employers to slope, shore, or shield trench walls to prevent cave-ins.”
Resources on protecting workers from trenching hazards are available on OSHA’s trenching and excavation webpage.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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 American working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.