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Georgia Company Cited for Lack of Cave-in Protection; Trenching Presents High Risk of Work Injury

The Latex Construction Co. Inc. of Conyers, Georgia has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for failing to provide cave-in protection to its employees while working in a trench.

The company was working along Old National Highway in Atlanta laying 12 miles of natural gas pipe in a trench. The proposed fines total $42,000.
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Our Georgia workers’ compensation attorneys know that trenching and excavating work kills roughly 50 workers a year nationally – countless others are injured. Trench cave-ins are among the most dangerous and most common construction accidents.

A repeat citation was issued by OSHA, to the company, for lacking cave-in protection on a trench that was 150 feet long, 17 feet wide and 7 feet deep. Workers can be engulfed or crushed by the trench walls if they are not properly secured. Latex Construction was issued a repeat citation because it was cited for the same violation while working in Florida in 2007.

“This employer is aware of OSHA’s requirements but left the workers unprotected,” said Andre Richards, director of OSHA’s Atlanta-West Area Office. “Being irresponsible about workers’ safety is unacceptable, and OSHA will not tolerate it.”

A serious violation was also issued to the company for not having a ladder within 25 feet of the workers in the trench. OSHA requires a means of escape be close by in the event of a cave-in.

Unless a trench is made in stable rock OSHA requires a protective system be in any trench that is deeper than 5 feet.

Several different types of protective systems exist to protect workers in trenches including:

-Shielding: involves the use of trench boxes placed in the excavation area.

-Shoring: involves installing aluminum hydraulic or other types of supports to prevent soil from moving.

-Sloping: requires cutting the trench wall back so it inclines away from the excavation.

Additional trenching and excavation rules include: don’t pile extra dirt within 2 feet of the trench edges, don’t let heavy equipment go near trench edges, trenches need to be inspected before work begins and after it rains, never work under raised loads and always know the location of underground utilities.

The lawyers at the Law Offices of J. Franklin Burns, P.C., have the experience to help you gain all the benefits you are entitled to under the Georgia workers’ compensation program. Call for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 1-404-303-7770.