OSHA cites Nebraska company for exposing employees to trenching hazards

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GRETNA, Neb. -- The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Nebraska contractor Premier Underground LLC for failing to protect its workers from excavation collapse hazards. The company faces proposed penalties of $46,930.

OSHA inspectors observed employees installing water and sewer lines in two unprotected trenches on the same jobsite. OSHA cited the company for one willful and six serious violations for exposing workers to crush hazards, and for failing to: train workers on trenching hazards; provide a safe means of egress from the trench; conduct daily site inspections; and place soil piles a safe distance from the open excavation.

“Trenching and excavation continue to be among the most hazardous jobs in construction,” said Jeff Funke, OSHA Omaha Area Office Director. “When employees are allowed to work in unprotected trenches, they are exposed to a cave-in risk.”

OSHA’s Trenching and Excavation Safety booklet describes safe work practices that can protect workers from trench collapse and other hazards.

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 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.