U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)

Berks County excavation contractor exposed workers to trenching hazards; OSHA levies more than $57K in fines


Employer name: M&A Excavating LLC, at 120 Lyons Road in Mertztown, Pennsylvania.

The inspected worksite was located on the 500 block of Main Street in Blandon, Pennsylvania. M&A was contracted by Maidencreek Township to install a new water line from the supply line to a residence.

Citations issued: On Oct. 28, 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued M&A Excavating LLC one willful, one repeat and one serious citation.

Investigation findings: On Sept. 15, 2015, an OSHA compliance officer observed M&A employees working in an unprotected trench that was 5 feet 8 inches deep, prompting the investigation.

OSHA issued the willful citation for lack of cave-in protection*. There was no means of exit from the trench, resulting in the repeat citation. Additionally, the serious citation was for excavated soil, or spoils, that was not kept at least two feet back from the excavation.

Proposed penalties: $57,400

Quote: 'M&A Excavating was cited for similar violations in 2011, and is fully aware of hazards involving unprotected trenches. However, this company continues jeopardizing employee safety by not implementing proper safety measures,' said Kevin Kilp, OSHA's area director in Harrisburg. 'An unprotected trench can collapse at any moment, and if an employee is in that trench, it may quickly become a grave. Proper cave-in protection is critical to saving lives. '

View the citation: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/m_a_excavating_1091889.pdf*

To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint; or report amputations, eye loss, 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 Harrisburg Area Office at 717-782-3902.

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