OSHA fines two companies $130,500 for trenching hazards at Kearny, NJ, site

June 11, 2013

KEARNY, N.J. – VM Construction Inc., based in Miami, and Concrete Systems Inc., based in Sterling, were cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for willful and repeat trenching hazards found at a Kearny work site. OSHA’s November 2012 investigation was prompted by an imminent danger complaint that alleged workers operated in an unprotected excavation 8 feet deep.

One willful violation, carrying a $28,000 penalty, was cited against VM Construction Inc. for those workers operating in an unprotected excavation. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health. The construction company was also cited for one serious violation, with a $2,400 penalty, for failing to ensure a competent person inspected the excavation prior to allowing workers to enter. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.


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