An Alabama-based contracting company faces more than $60,000 in fines levied last month by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). D&J Enterprises, located in Opelika, was issued one willful and one repeated OSHA safety violation by the U.S. Department of Labor. OSHA said it began an inspection of D&J Enterprises in mid-January as part of its National Emphasis Program on trenching and excavation.
The willful violation involves D&J Enterprises allowing employees to work in an excavation up to 10 feet deep without cave-in protection. The workers were installing new water and sewer lines. The repeated citation was given for D&J failing to provide information and training to employees to recognize and avoid cave-in hazards. OSHA said it found trenching hazards and failure to provide required hazard training to employees at D&J during an inspection in October 2015. The citation was originally labeled “willful,” but was changed to “serious” as part of a settlement with D&J. Joseph Roesler, OSHA’s area director in Mobile, in a statement said:
It concerns us that, after settling an October 2015 inspection that found dangerous trench hazards, D&J Enterprises continues to put workers at risk of serious injury or death. The employer has the responsibility for ensuring a safe and healthful job site.
At press time, D&J Enterprises had not commented on the recent citations, which came with the proposed fine of $64,350. The company has 15 business days to comply, request an OSHA conference or contest the findings before an independent review commission.