Sunday, July 27, 2008

Trench Deaths Investigations

What takes OSHA so long to investigate a simple Donkey Way death of 3 then 1 workers in Trench Cave-ins?

The article below from Notes that OSHA representatives say that it will take six months to completely investigate two deadly trench cave-ins in Hattiesburg and in Lamar County, MS.

I wrote an article back when the three workers were killed noting that there was not adequate shoring to prevent these cave-ins to protect the workers. This particular incident happened in March of this year.

I can see no reason for OSHA to take 6 months to see that a trench was not properly shored or sloped to prevent cave-ins to protect the workers in the trench. Simple math.... No shoring....No work...Do work....Fatalities in the trench....MAJOR fines....Put company out of business if necessary.

This could have been done with collection of fines within two weeks including all the Government paperwork!

Another thing noted in this article is the fact that one of the contractors has been fined a total of $479,628 from 1999 to 2005. Why is this company still in business. OSHA's probe should be into why these incidents take so long to make it through their paper trails while these construction companies are still in business while exposing more workers to their Donkey Way of doing business.

OSHA probes continue in fatal cave-ins

Officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said investigations of two separate cave-ins in March that led to the deaths of four workers are continuing.

Both cave-ins require up to six months to investigate, OSHA officials said.

"It's moved along, but it is incomplete at this time," said Clyde Payne, Mississippi OSHA director, referring to a March 21 trench collapse that killed three American Air Specialists employees.

Payne declined to provide further details.

Leonardo Navarro Diaz, 30, of Sumrall; Brandon Edward Rathbone, 19, of Hattiesburg; and Wayne Dale Kelly, 55, of Columbia; were connecting a sewer line at 223 J.M. Tatum Industrial Drive when a trench collapsed, burying them under eight feet of clay and wet dirt.

The agency is also looking into a second fatal accident involving Hattiesburg-based L&A Contracting Co.

L&A worker Tim Bright, 38, of Petal died March 22 of injuries he suffered in a March 13 ditch collapse at Lois Lane in Lamar County.

Bright and several construction workers had been working in a ditch, building a form to pour concrete on Lois Lane off Sandy Run Road when a ditch wall collapsed on him.

Payne said the investigation is not complete and would take no longer than six months to investigate.

According to OSHA records, the two companies have been fined in the past.

L&A Contracting had a total of 18 violations and was fined $245,828 from 1999 to 2005, according to OSHA records. The company was fined $233,800 for 12 safety violations in 1999.

Meanwhile, OSHA penalized American Air Specialists of Mississippi Inc. in 2003 for using hazardous materials - "boxes and barrels" - that could have caused a construction fall, according to an OSHA inspection document. It was classified as a serious violation. The company paid a $300 penalty. The incident occurred at the same work site where the three workers died.

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