OSHA Cites Alabama Construction Firm for Trench Collapse Hazards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Tuscaloosa-based J&P Construction, doing business as Jamison Construction, with one willful and two serious workplace safety violations because it exposed its workers to the risk of a serious construction accident at a job site in Destin, Florida.

The job involved installing storm drains along Florida State Highway 98. During the trenching process, the company failed to provide adequate cave-in protection, such as trench boxes. OSHA safety standards require all excavations or trenches 5 feet deep or deeper to have adequate safeguards against collapse. The trenches for the Highway 98 job were 8 feet deep.

"This employer knew there were trench boxes available at a nearby worksite, but chose not to use them and put the lives of its workers at risk," said OSHA's Jacksonville area director James Borders. "Disregarding the safety of workers is unacceptable and OSHA will not tolerate it."

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OSHA cited that failure as a willful safety violation, which means that the company's actions were done intentionally or with clear indifference to their workers' safety and health. The proposed penalty for that violation is $38,500.

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