Two employers cited for exposing workers to cave-in hazards at an unprotected trench in Conroe, Texas; fines total $65,900

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Employers' names: North Texas Contracting Inc. and K&S Contractors

Citations issued: Nov. 19, 2015

Investigation findings: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration initiated an inspection at a worksite on June 2, 2015, in Conroe, Texas, after receiving a report of employees working in an unprotected trench. For failing to protect workers from the collapse of undermined pavement, failing to place excavated material two feet or more from the edge of the trench and using a defective lifting hook which exposed workers to struck-by hazards, North Texas Contracting was cited for three serious violations. The employer was also cited for one repeat violation for failing to protect workers from a trench collapse.

In the same trench, OSHA found K&S, a North Texas Contracting subcontractor, had exposed three workers to cave-in hazards and cited K&S for three serious violations for failing to protect workers from a trench cave-in, exposing workers to water accumulation in a trench and failing to protect workers from falling debris with protective helmets.

Proposed Penalties: North Texas Contracting Inc. was fined $59,100. K&S Contractors was fined $6,800.

Quote: 'Any time a worker is exposed to a trenching hazard that worker's life is in serious and immediate jeopardy. North Texas Contracting failed to comply with commonsense safety practices and such disregard will not be tolerated,' said Steve Devine, OSHA's acting area director in the Houston North office. 'It is the employer's responsibility to find and fix hazards in the workplace.'

Link to the citations: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Ken-Hosang-dba-KS-Contractors_1077476_1119_15.pdf* and http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/North-Texas-Contracting-Inc_1067686_1119_15.pdf*

Information: Headquartered in Keller, Texas, North Texas Contracting employs about 300 workers. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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 Houston North Area Office at 936-760-3800.

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