Monday, May 27, 2024

OSHA issues citations to Ruston business following fatal accident

by BIZ Magazine

OSHA has issued one willful and three serious citations to Skylan Construction Inc. after an investigation found the employer failed to put safety measures in place to protect workers.

In October 2022, a trench collapse in Ruston, Louisiana, a worker was in a 10 feet deep excavation to upgrade to a sewer lift station for existing sewer services when the trench collapse. 

The worker was taken to Northern Louisiana Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. 

The citations (Attached) were issued for:


  • Each employee in an excavation was not protected from cave-ins by an adequate protective system.


  • Not having means for employees to exit from an excavation while working on an underground sewer pipe.
  • Not conducting atmospheric testing where employees were exposed to respiratory hazards while working on a sewer pipe in an excavation greater than 4 ft. deep.
  • Not prohibiting excavation below the level of the base or footing of any foundation or retaining wall that could be reasonably expected to pose a hazard to the employees.

Trench hazards can be controlled when employers act responsibly, train employees, and follow federal standards. These important steps can keep excavation work safe:

·         Ensure there is a safe way to enter and exit the trench

·         Trenches must have cave-in protection – remember to Slope, Shore, Shield

·         Keep materials away from the edge of the trench

·         Look for standing water or other environmental hazards, and

·         Never enter a trench unless it is properly inspected

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