A Joliet construction contractor, P.T. Ferro, was recently cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for exposing employees to unsafe trench working conditions. This is the seventh time the company has been cited by OSHA for similar hazards that endanger workers.
The proposed penalties are $104,756 and include one willful and two serious safety citations. Inspectors determined that a competent person knew of the trench dangers and still permitted an employee to work in the trench.
In June OSHA found that the P.T. Ferro allowed its employees to work in a seven-foot deep trench with no cave-in protection and without a means of escape in case the trench began to collapse.
OSHA safety standard for trenches require that trenches deeper than five feet have protective systems in place and that soil and other material are at least two feet from the edge of the trench.
Annually, hundreds of workers are injured and dozens die when trench walls collapse. Victims are buried under dirt and rock, often weighing thousands of pounds. Cave-ins pose the greatest risk to workers in trenches and are more likely to occur than other types of excavation accidents, according to OSHA.
P.T. Ferro has 15 business days from receiving its penalties and citations to comply.
If you have been injured in a construction accident because of a negligent employer, the experienced construction accident lawyers at GWC Injury Lawyers can help you hold companies accountable for their negligence. Contact us today to learn more about your options for workers’ compensation and other legal options that may be available to you.