The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Casa Grande, Ariz.-based Ellison-Mills Contracting with three serious violations following an investigation into the death of a worker that occurred in August 2012 while an 8-inch waterline was being installed at the Gila River Indian Community in Chandler. The employee was working in a trench when he was struck by a bucket shovel that was not properly secured via a quick coupler to excavating equipment.
OSHA cited the contractor for failing to visually inspect the quick-coupler device prior to or after attachment and prior to use; instruct the operator to recognize and avoid operation of the excavator's bucket shovel in close proximity to other workers; and ensure the work area was free from recognized hazards, including struck-by hazards during trenching.
Proposed penalties total $8,400. Ellison-Mills Contracting has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Find more information on safe operation of quick-coupling devices for securing hydraulic excavator buckets through the OSHA safety and health information bulletin.