October 31, 2018
AUSTIN, TX – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited UST Systems Inc. for trench safety violations after the company allowed its employees to enter an excavation site in Austin without proper protections or training on the dangers of unsupported soils. UST Systems Inc. faces $35,844 in proposed penalties.
OSHA inspectors visited the company worksite and found employees preparing an excavation for a new underground storage tank. The excavation lacked sloping, benching, or shoring required to support the soil walls.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
OSHA recently updated its National Emphasis Program on preventing trenching and excavation collapses in response to a recent spike in trenching fatalities. The program continues agency efforts to identify and reduce hazards that are causing or likely to cause serious injuries and fatalities during trenching and excavation operations.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.