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Haylor Risk Management Blog

OSHA violation leads to manslaughter charges - Is your site OSHA compliant?

Posted by Risk Management Team on Feb 1, 2018 11:35:45 AM

Construction Company Owner Charged with Manslaughter Over Worker's Trench Death

For the first time, an employer in Washington is facing felony manslaughter charges following the death of a worker in an unsecured trench.  What does this mean for you and your site?

Recent statistics show that the fatality rate for excavation construction work is at least 112% higher than that in other construction industries. To help excavation workers stay safe, OSHA has established standards and policies to require a competent person who is capable of identifying and eliminating hazards to be present at every excavation site.

HF&C can provide trenching and excavation safety training consistent with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 29 CFR 1926 Subpart P requirements. The training program would be designed to ensure that participants obtain the knowledge, skill, and understanding necessary to be considered “competent persons” (as defined by OSHA) for excavation safety.  Under the OSHA excavation standards, tasks performed by the competent person include:

■ Classifying soil

■ Verify underground utilities have been located

■ Inspecting protective systems

■ Designing structural ramps

■ Monitoring water removal equipment

■ Conducting site inspections

Additionally, your competent person should be capable of:

  • Displaying extensive knowledge of OSHA 29 CFR 1926--Subpart P
  • Demonstrating correct soil testing procedures and understand how to classify soil
  • Identifying hazards associated with trenching and excavations and understand how to take prompt corrective measures to ensure a safe excavation
  • Understanding the different types of protective systems and how to select the proper system
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In Other OSHA News.....

On Jan. 2, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a Federal Register notice announcing an increase in the maximum penalty amounts for violations of federal Occupational Safety and Health standards and regulations. 

What are the maximum OSHA penalties?

Under the new penalty structure, the maximum penalty allowed for “serious” and “other-than-serious” violations is $12,934. In addition, the maximum penalty allowed for “failure-to-abate” violations is $12,934 each day that an employer fails to abate the specific violation. Finally, the maximum penalty allowed for “willful” and “repeat” violations is $129,336, 10 times the maximum permitted for “serious” and “other-than-serious” violations. 

Type of Violation 2015 2016 2018
Serious or other-than-serious posting requirements $7,000 $12,471 $12,934
Failure to abate beyond initial violation date (per day) $7,000 $12,471 $12,934
Willful or repeat violations $70,000 $124,709 $129,336

Is your company prepared for an OSHA Inspection?

HF&C can assist with proper OSHA Compliance to help you avoid these types of significant fines.  Contact Us for a safety & compliance program tailored to your business needs.  Some of the safety solutions available through HF&C

  • Mock OSHA Inspection
  • OSHA Client Advocacy - Before, During & After an Inspection
  • Safety Program Audit
  • Facility Safety Inspection
  • Employee  Safety Training Programs
  • Written Policies & Procedures
  • Indoor Air Quality & Noise Monitoring
  • Incident Investigations


OSHA 300A Posting

One last reminder.....OSHA reminds employers of their obligation to post a copy of OSHA's Form 300A , which summarizes job-related injuries and illnesses logged during 2017.  This Form 300A must be posted between February 1and April 30.

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Click Here for OSHA Form  300A