Serial violator: South Dakota contractor faces severe and willful citations following 2 separate inspections for employees in unprotected trenches

Could 11, 2022

Serial violator: South Dakota contractor faces severe and willful citations
following 2 separate inspections for employees in unprotected trenches

H&W Contracting LLC continues sample of flouting security requirements

SIOUX FALLS, SD – Twice in seven days, federal office security inspectors discovered a Sioux Falls contractor put employees liable to being buried below hundreds of kilos of soil whereas they labored in unprotected trenches at two areas in Tea and Salem.

Protect Workers in Trenches

The invention continues H&W Contracting LLC’s historical past of disregarding the intense and infrequently deadly risks related to working in an unprotected trench and federal legislation. Since 2019, the U.S. Division of Labor’s Occupational Security and Well being Administration has cited the corporate 3 times for comparable violations.

Most not too long ago, OSHA inspectors responded to a criticism on Nov.16, 2021, and located H&W Contracting employees in an unprotected trench in Tea as they put in a 6-inch waterline to a hearth hydrant at 271st Road and Kerslake Place.

Six days later, one other criticism led OSHA to open a second inspection the place it was found that firm staff have been working in 5 separate unprotected trenches as they changed storm sewers with new ones in Salem on Nov. 22, 2021.

“Every web site had a special foreman, completely different crew members and a special scope of labor. The frequent thread is H&W Contracting’s continued failure to guard its employees,” stated OSHA Space Director Sheila Stanley in Sioux Falls. “Trench collapses are among the many development trade’s most threatening hazards. Employees caught when hundreds of kilos of free soil and rocks pour on and round them typically undergo severe accidents or worse. H&W Contracting should change the way in which it operates earlier than catastrophe strikes.”

After the November inspection, the company recognized one willful and three serious violations and proposed $122,838 in penalties from the Tea location and one willful violation with proposed penalties of $95,718 for the Salem location.

From 2011-2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 166 workers died in trench collapses. In 2019, OSHA notes no less than 24 employees died whereas engaged on trenching and excavation initiatives.

In each inspections, OSHA discovered H&W failed to put in trench safety programs and {that a} competent particular person didn’t take away employees from hazardous conditions. In Tea, the corporate additionally failed to guard gasoline, electrical, water and communications programs from struck-by or different hazards and didn’t prolong a ladder three toes above the sting of the excavation to permit for secure egress from the ditch.

OSHA has a national emphasis program on trenching and excavations. Trenching standards require protective systems on trenches deeper than 5 feet, and soil and different supplies saved no less than two toes from the sting of a trench. Moreover, trenches have to be inspected by a educated particular person, be freed from standing water and atmospheric hazards and have a secure technique of getting into and exiting previous to permitting a employee to enter.

The Nationwide Utility Contractors Affiliation has declared June 2022 “Trench Safety Month.” OSHA will collaborate with the affiliation for “Trench Security Stand-Down” week, June 20-24.

OSHA’s trenching and excavation webpage gives extra info on trenching hazards and options, together with a safety video.

Learn more about OSHA.

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Media Contacts:

Scott Allen, 312-353-4727,
Rhonda Burke, 312-353-4807,

Launch Quantity: 22-873-DAK

U.S. Division of Labor information supplies are accessible at The division’s Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental info and paperwork into different codecs, which embody Braille and huge print. For different format requests, please contact the division at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).


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