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  • Writer's pictureJohn Larrimer

Cave-In Hazards Cost Pan-Oceanic Engineering Co. $147,000

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Pan-Oceanic Engineering Co., Inc. twice this year for exposing their workers to cave-in hazards. The most recent inspection was conducted at a job site in Chicago, where the employer failed to protect workers from trench cave-ins while they were installing water and sewer lines.

In addition to the cave-in hazards, the company received an additional, willful violation for failing to support the street pavement above the trench, which could potentially fall on workers. Based on OSHA standards, any trench that is excavated five feet or lower must receive protection against a potential collapse.

During the investigation, OSHA inspectors issued a serious citation after discovering that a “competent” member of the crew had seen evidence of a potential cave-in but had refused to remove workers from the dangerous area. All together, the current OSHA violations will cost the corporation $147,000.

Due to its multiple citations, Pan-Oceanic Engineering Co., Inc. will become a member of OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program for repeat offenders. Businesses on this list are required to undergo multiple follow-up inspections to make sure they are complying with all OSHA regulations.

At least 70 construction workers die every year due to trench cave-ins. Most fatalities were a result of workers digging shallow trenches to install sewer lines and failing to brace the walls of trenches to prevent cave-ins.

I Need a Workers Comp Attorney in Columbus, Ohio

Even after multiple citations, far too many businesses are willing to cut costs rather than provide safe environments for their workers. If your employer is forcing you to work in an unsafe environment, the company is violating your rights. Call Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC for help fighting back.

[Did You Know: Companies with fewer than 50 workers account for 68% of trench cave-in fatalities.]

Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC—Columbus Workers Comp Attorneys

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