Company Cited For Risking Employee Safety in Georgia

February 13, 2012
By Lawfirm of J. Franklin Burns, P.C. on February 13, 2012 12:13 PM |

K.M. Davis Contracting Co. Inc. of Marietta was recently cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for failing to take the appropriate measures to help reduce the risks of work-related injuries in Georgia. In total, the company faces proposed fines of nearly $55,000. The company was observed disregarding OSHA's workplace safety standards.
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The violation was discovered by officials after OSHA inspected the site back in August. The work site inspection was conducted as a part of OSHA's national emphasis program on trenching and excavations. The company was contracted by the city of Marietta to put in fire hydrants and install nearly 3,000 feet of water lines along North Cobb Parkway.

Our Atlanta workers compensation attorneys understand that trench-related work accidents can be some of the most catastrophic of any industry. For this reason, there are a number of standards that trenching and excavating companies must meet to help ensure the safety of its employees. K.M. Davis Contracting Co. Inc. was busted for violating these national standards.

In the violation discovered by OSHA, employees were allowed to work in a trench that was nearly 10 feet deep that didn't have cave-in protection. This violation was categorized as a willful violation, meaning that the employer knew about it or should have known about it and disregarded the law.

In other words, the management was aware of the potential hazards to employees in the trench, but flagrantly ignored those hazards.

Under the current standards laid out by OSHA, employers are required to make sure all excavation and trenching projects which are done at a level of 5 feet or deeper be protected against cave-ins or collapses.

According to the Trenching and Excavating page on OSHA's website, excavating and trenching is easily one of the most dangerous and hazardous of construction operations. The safety standards were recently revised to help to make it easier for employers to understand and to protect workers in this field.

The top danger for workers in trenching and excavating projects is collapse. To help reduce the risks of a cave-in or a collapse, employers are required to conduct an analysis on the soil to figure out shoring, benching and sloping.

It's also important to keep an eye on the placement of heavy machinery, work materials and work-related traffic near the work site. Employers and employees also want to be cautious of natural gases and various electrical hazards stemming from power lines located underground.

K.M. Davis Contracting Co. Inc. can either pay the proposed penalties, request a conference with the area director or contest the investigation's findings. Regardless, they have 15 business days to do so.

If you or someone who is close to you has been injured at work in Atlanta or in any of the surrounding areas and would like to discuss your rights, contact the experienced Atlanta workers' compensation lawyers at J. Franklin Burns. Call 404-303-7770 to make a free appointment to discuss your claim.

More Blog Entries:

New OSHA Materials to Help Prevent Fatal Trenching Accidents in Atlanta and Elsewhere, Georgia Workers Compensation Attorney Blog, October 21, 2011