Texas Contractor Facing Nearly $80,000 in OSHA Fines for Excavation Safety Violations

OSHA cites SER Construction Partners for three trenching safety hazards including failure to provide a safe egress, failure to prevent water accumulation and failure to provide adequate cave-in protection

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OSHA has cited SER Construction Partners Ltd., Pasadena, Texas, with three safety violations totaling $79,900 in fines for exposing workers at a Houston construction site to excavation hazards. SER was cited with one repeat and two serious trenching violations. The serious violations include failing to provide a safe egress from the trench and failing to prevent water accumulation. The repeat violation involved failing to provide adequate cave-in protection such as sloping, benching or a protective shield system.

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. A repeat violation exists when an employer has been cited previously for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. OSHA cited SER Construction for a similar violation in August 2010.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.