Auburn, Alabama contractor exposes workers to cave-in hazards; fails to use safety measures to prevent excavation collapse

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Employer name: D&J Enterprises, Inc.

Inspection site: 2151 Interstate Drive Opelika, Alabama 36801

Date inspection initiated: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration initiated the Jan. 14, 2015 inspection as part of the agency's National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation.

Inspection findings: OSHA issued the employer one willful citation for allowing employees to work in an excavation without cave-in protection. OSHA requires that all trenches and excavation sites 5-feet or deeper be protected against sidewall collapses. Protection may be provided through shoring of trench walls, sloping of the soil at a shallow angle or by using a protective trench box.

Quote: 'D&J Enterprises' management recognized that there was a possible cave-in hazard and had the means to correct the hazard, yet opted to provide no protection for employees in the excavation,' said Joseph Roesler, OSHA's area director in Mobile. 'There is no excuse for an employer to put their employees in unprotected trenches and excavations. The technology and training have been available for employers for decades.'

Proposed penalties: $55,000

The citations can be viewed at: http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/osha/OSHA20150333fs.pdf*

D&J Enterprises Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Mobile Area Office at 251-441-6131.

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