Georgia Company Faces $132,552.00 In Penalties For Trenching Hazards

Excavation is one of the most hazardous operations on a construction site. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a Georgia company, Dustcom Limited, Inc., for exposing its employees to trench cave-in hazards after OSHA inspectors saw the employees installing a water line in an unprotected trench. OSHA has proposed penalties totaling $130,552.00.

Employers must provide adequate protection for employees working in trenches to ensure protection against cave-ins. The OSHA inspection in Georgia was part of OSHA's ongoing emphasis program on trenching. OSHA requires that a competent person inspect such areas and adequate protection systems such sloping and shielding, depending on the specific conditions present. (See OSHA Fact Sheet on Trenching and Excavation Safety at

OSHA inspectors will thoroughly examine all excavation and trenching on the worksite. Even in the absence of an accident, substantial penalties can and will be assessed. Employers must be proactive in ensuring safety by adopting and following strict policies in excavation work.

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