The Cost of an OSHA Trench Shoring Violation
A single citation for not using a trench box can exceed $100,000. In fact an Ohio contractor was cited for a May 10, 2016 willful violation of 29 CFR 1926.652(a)(1) totaling $124,709.00. Just over one month later, the same contractor was later cited on June 15, 2016 in accourdance with 29 CFR 1926.21 (b)(2) for failing to ensure employees working in the trenches were thouruoghly trained in the hazards associated with trenching and excavating an the regulations applicable to such operations. This violation came with a proposed penalty of $12,471.00. In total the proposed penalties for this contractor came to be $274,359.
The True Cost
OSHA penalties can be very costly and burdensome on a company. However, they are do not even begin to compare to the burdon of bearing the loss of a life or sustaining a life altering injury. As in the case of this contractor, the May 10th inspection and citation should have been a sufficent warning for this contractor. Unfortunatly, the June investigation and citation began when a young man of 33 years lost his life working in a 12-foot trench that collapsed. Nothing can replace the loss of a life. Please do all you can to prevent the same tradegy from happining to someone whom you are responsible to protect.
The use of a trench box costing less than $10,000 could have prevented this loss of life.