Preventable Fatality

Original article published by OSHA

US Department of Labor finds Texas construction company willfully exposedworkers to deadly hazards after trench collapse kills two workers

WBW Construction LLC allowed workers into 23-foot deep, unprotected trench

AUSTIN, TX – A federal investigation has determined that by failing to follow required workplace safety standards, a Georgetown construction contractor gave two workers installing sewer lines in an underground trench – more than two stories deep – little chance of survival when a large section of the excavation collapsed, crushing them under thousands of pounds of soil and rocks.

U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigators responding to the residential construction site in Jarrell on June 28, 2022, found WBW Construction LLC willfully violated federal law when they failed to have a trench protective system in place and did not provide an exit point within 25 feet inside a trench. OSHA also issued four serious citations for not using ladders as designed; failing to inspect the work site as frequently as required; not removing water in the trench; and failing to provide workers with first aid training.

OSHA has proposed penalties of $250,272 and placed WBW Construction LLC in the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

“WBW Construction LLC willfully sent these workers into an unprotected trench and ignored federal safety requirements. Now, two workers’ families, friends and co-workers are left to grieve their tragic, and avoidable, deaths,” said OSHA Area Director Casey Perkins in Austin, Texas. “Incidents like this can be prevented by following proven and well-known methods to protect workers from the deadly hazards in trenching and excavation work.”

By most estimates, one cubic yard of soil can weigh as much as 3,000 pounds – about the weight of a subcompact car – and trench collapses happen in seconds, which helps explain why they are among the construction industry’s most fatal hazards.

Through the end of November 2022, OSHA reports 35 workers died in trenching and excavation work, more than double the number in all of 2021. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports trench collapses claimed the lives of 166 workers between 2011 and 2018.

“Unfortunately, we are seeing a sudden increase in the number of workers dying in trench and excavation collapses,” Perkins explained. “OSHA has a National Emphasis Program in place to alert employers and workers of the dangers, and to hold violators accountable. We also encourage anyone who sees workers in an unsafe trench to help us save lives by reporting the hazardous situation.”

Federal trenching safety standards require protective systems for trenches deeper than 5 feet, and that soil and other materials be kept at least 2 feet from the trench’s edge. Trenches must also be inspected by a knowledgeable person, be free of standing water and atmospheric hazards, and have a safe means of entry and exit before a worker may enter.

Based in Georgetown, WBW Construction LLC is affiliated with the WBW Development Group, developer of more than two dozen residential and commercial projects in Texas.

The deceased workers were provided by Sedona Staffing Services, a Moline, Illinois-based company that offers temporary staffing for clerical, industrial and technical positions at 28 branches nationwide. OSHA issued one serious citation to Sedona for not inspecting the job sites. Proposed penalties total $9,324 for Sedona.

WBW Construction LLC and Sedona Staffing Services have 15 business days from receipt of citation and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

OSHA’s trenching and excavation webpage provides additional information on trenching hazards and solutions, including a safety video.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Warehousing Hazards

Original article published by OSHA

Federal safety inspections at three Amazon warehouse facilitiesfind company exposed workers to ergonomic, struck-by hazards

Multi-state investigation is largest enforcement effort on ergonomics

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced that its Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Amazon for failing to keep workers safe, and has issued hazard alert letters after inspections at three warehouse facilities – in Deltona, Florida; Waukegan, Illinois; and New Windsor, New York – after finding workers exposed to ergonomic hazards.

Specifically, OSHA cited the company for violations of the general duty clause in the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which requires employers to provide safe workplaces. The agency also cited the company for exposing workers at the Florida warehouse to struck-by hazards. Similar investigations at three Amazon locations in Aurora, Colorado; Nampa, Idaho; and Castleton, New York, are ongoing.

The department’s actions follow referrals from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, that led the agency to open inspections at Amazon warehouses in Deltona, Waukegan, and New Windsor on July 18, 2022; and in Aurora, Nampa and Castleton on Aug. 1, 2022.

OSHA investigators found Amazon warehouse workers at high risk for lower back injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders related to the high frequency with which workers are required to lift packages and other items; the heavy weight of the items; awkward postures, such as twisting, bending and long reaches while lifting; and long hours required to complete assigned tasks. OSHA also reviewed on-site injury logs required by OSHA and discovered that Amazon warehouse workers experienced high rates of musculoskeletal disorders.

Amazon faces a total of $60,269 in proposed penalties for these violations.

“Each of these inspections found work processes that were designed for speed but not safety, and they resulted in serious worker injuries,” said Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker. “While Amazon has developed impressive systems to make sure its customers’ orders are shipped efficiently and quickly, the company has failed to show the same level of commitment to protecting the safety and well-being of its workers.”

“Our hope is that the findings of our investigations inspire Amazon and other warehouses to make the safety and health of their workers a core value,” Parker added.

In December 2022, OSHA cited Amazon for 14 recordkeeping violations as part of the same investigation.

Amazon has 15 business days from receipt of the current citations and proposed penalty to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

OSHA – Preventable Fatalities

Original article published by OSHA

US Department of Labor finds safety, training failures during investigationof June 2022 double fatality at Pueblo industrial loading facility

Two workers fatally buried when coal pile shifts at Savage Services Corp. location

PUEBLO, CO – A federal workplace safety investigation into the deaths of two workers buried under a pile of shifting coal at a Pueblo industrial loading facility in June 2022 found that their employer failed to follow required federal standards and did not train workers on safety processes.

An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration learned that, as three employees of Savage Services Corp. climbed onto the coal pile to determine if the feeder below was receiving coal, the pile shifted. The falling coal fatally buried two workers and the third employee was able to escape without injury.

OSHA issued citations to Savage Services Corp. – a global provider of industry infrastructure and supply chain services – for one serious violation and two willful violations for failing to implement safe work practices and for not training workers as required. The company faces $304,556 in proposed penalties.

In a similar incident in December 2020, a coal pile collapsed onto a bulldozer at a company facility in New Mexico, trapping an employee inside the machine until their rescue an hour later.

“A near-tragedy at another Savage Services Corp. facility in 2020 made the company acutely aware of the serious hazards for those working around coal piles and yet, two workers’ families, friends and co-workers are now left to grieve,” said OSHA Area Director Chad Vivian in Englewood, Colorado. “With legally required standard safety practices in place and training provided, the company could have prevented this terrible incident.”

Based in Midvale, Utah, Savage Services Corp. has more than 200 locations throughout the U.S., as well as in Canada, Mexico and Saudi Arabia.

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


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Electrocution Hazards

Original article published by OSHA

US Department of Labor cites developer, subcontractors for exposing workers to dangerously energized power lines

Litana Development, two subcontractors face $518K in fines

PATERSON, NJ – The U.S. Department of Labor has issued citations to three New Jersey contractors who willfully exposed employees to potentially lethal dangers by allowing them to work near energized power lines at a Paterson worksite.

On April 15, 2022, the local power utility alerted the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration about workers constructing a five-story apartment building too close to nearby power lines. After arriving at the site, OSHA inspectors found employees at risk of electrocution as they worked from a metal scaffold erected within five feet of high-voltage power lines.

OSHA informed the project’s developer, Litana Development Inc. of Wayne and two subcontractors, Prata Construction LLC of Denville – a carpentry contractor – and Elite Brothers Construction LLC of Paterson – a stucco contractor – of the dangers and told them work must not continue. The agency subsequently posted an Imminent Danger Notice in English and Spanish to warn workers at the site about the extreme danger.

On June 23, 2022, the department’s Regional Office of the Solicitor secured a temporary restraining order in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in Newark to enforce OSHA’s Imminent Danger Notice. Attorneys for the department and Litana negotiated a consent injunction, entered on July 5, 2022, to resume work as long as workers remained 11 feet away from the power lines.

On July 15, 2022, OSHA found that work had once again been performed dangerously close to the power lines. On August 2, 2022, the court entered a more restrictive Modified Consent Injunction which provided for third-party monitoring and physical barriers to ensure that workers would be kept safe.

“Litana Development and its subcontractors willfully exposed workers to potentially deadly electrocution hazards by making them work too close to energized power lines,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Richard Mendelson in New York. “Despite repeatedly being told of the danger involved with this construction project, the companies ignored warnings and even a court order.”

OSHA issued citations and penalties as follows:

Employer Violations Proposed penalties
Litana Development Inc. Three willful $435,081
Prata Construction LLC One willful, two serious $41,478
Elite Brothers Construction LLC One willful, three serious $41,478

“The U.S. Department of Labor will use all available enforcement tools to protect workers’ safety, and to ensure violations are remedied to prevent tragedies,” said Regional Solicitor of Labor Jeffrey S. Rogoff in New York.

View the citations.

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


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Preventable Drowning Fatality

Original article published by OSHA

US Department of Labor cites Florida company for numerous safety failuresafter investigation into how 22-year-old diver working in canal drowned

Erosion Barrier Installations Corp. failed to train divers on emergency procedures

MARGATE, FL – Working at the bottom of a Margate canal on April 4, 2022, a young diver was removing sand with an industrial vacuum to restore an embankment project when sediment above collapsed onto him, leaving the 22-year-old worker trapped until he drowned.

A U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation found the diver’s employer – Erosion Barrier Installations Corp. of Davie – did not follow required safety standards and issued citations related to the following violations:

  • Failing to train divers in dive-related physics and physiology.
  • Not training dive teams on equipment use, techniques and emergency procedures required to perform underwater tasks safely.
  • Not ensuring that all dive team members are CPR-trained.
  • Failing to require that an experienced dive team member supervise dredging operations in a canal with zero-visibility.
  • Failing to have an emergency aid list at the worksite.
  • Performing underwater dredging in a canal without a standby diver.
  • Not providing employees with harnesses capable of distributing the pull forces over divers’ bodies.

OSHA proposed $46,409 in penalties to address the two willful and 10 serious violations.

“Erosion Barrier Installations Corp. ignored safety standards, and a young worker has died. The company could have prevented this tragedy by ensuring dive team members had the experience and training needed before allowing them to do this dangerous work,” explained OSHA Area Office Director Condell Eastmond in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “Commercial divers face a variety of hazards, and employers must not allow a dive to start until all workers’ safety is assured. The risks and the cost of failure are too great.”

OSHA also cited the company in April 2011 due to a fatal diving incident.

Operating throughout Florida and the Southeast, Erosion Barrier Installations Corp. provides shoreline and seawall restorations, erosion and retaining wall repair, dredging, culvert cleaning and pipe inspections. The company offers services to residential, commercial and local government customers.

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


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

OSHA proposes $1.3M in penalties for metro-area roofing contractor after second employee suffers fatal fall in 3 years

First published by OSHA

Serial violator ALJ Home Improvement Inc. cited repeatedly for fall-related violations

TARRYTOWN, NY – A Nanuet roofing and siding contractor with a significant history of safety violations and penalties now faces an additional $1,343,363 in penalties after the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated another fatal fall by a company employee, the second in three years.

OSHA opened an inspection of ALJ Home Improvement Inc. on Feb. 8, 2022, when a worker fell from the roof of a three-story residential construction project in Spring Valley. In February 2019, another company employee died in a fall at a Kiamesha Lake work site.

The agency determined that ALJ failed to provide fall protection training or ensure effective fall protection safeguards were used. They also failed to provide eye protection for employees using pneumatic nail guns, exposing them to the risk of serious eye injuries.

The employer’s knowledge of fall and eye protection requirements, and its deliberate and recurring violations of these standards, led OSHA to issue egregious citations for each instance an employee at the Spring Valley site was exposed to the hazards. In total, ALJ Home Improvement was cited for nine willful and three serious violations.

View the citations.

Since 2019, OSHA has inspected ALJ Home Improvement six times, issuing 21 violations and levying $299,425 in fines. Its infractions include multiple willful fall protection and eye protection violations, cited most recently in November 2021.

“ALJ Home Improvement continues to ignore the law and callously exposes its employees to falls from elevation, the construction industry’s deadliest hazard,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Richard Mendelson in New York. “Their repeated willful violations are evidence of an indefensible and inexcusable pattern of disregard for the safety of their employees. OSHA will continue to take strong enforcement actions against such employers.”

ALJ Home Improvement Inc., a roofing and siding contractor working throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Falls are the leading cause of death in construction work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 351 of the 1,008 construction workers who died on the job in 2020 were victims of falls from elevations. Fall-related injuries and fatalities can be prevented through knowledge and training.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

US Department of Labor finds Illinois contractor exposed roofing workers to deadly fall hazards twice in 10 days at separate job sites

First published by OSHA

Joshua Herion ignores OSHA safety rules, faces $360K in penalties

WAUKEGAN, IL – A Waukegan contractor – with a history of violating federal safety standards and ignoring safety citations – was cited again by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for exposing workers to deadly fall hazards at two separate job sites in October 2021. Joshua Herion – who does business as ECS Roofing Professionals Inc. – faces proposed penalties of $360,531.

A U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspector observed a foreman and two roofers atop a Hoffman Estates commercial building working at heights of up to 20 feet off the ground with inadequate fall protection. Just 10 days later, an OSHA inspector observed a crew of three working at heights greater than 12 feet atop a residential building in Waukesha, Wisconsin, without fall protection equipment.

Falls can be prevented: PLAN ahead to get the job done safely PROVIDE the right equipment TRAIN everyone to use the equipment safely

OSHA found ECS Roofing Professionals failed to equip workers with adequate fall protection equipment, train workers on its use, provide safe access to a ladder jack scaffold platform and ensure head and eye protection were used. The agency issued one willful, four repeat and eight serious violations.

“In both of these incidents, the foreman left the site and directed others to do so when OSHA inspectors began asking questions about their safety procedures. This defiant act demonstrates Joshua Herion and his company’s disregard for the safety and well-being of workers and the law,” said OSHA’s Chicago North Area Director Angeline Loftus in Des Plaines, Illinois, who investigated the Hoffman Estates job site. “Fall hazards make roofing work among the construction industry’s most dangerous jobs and among OSHA’s most frequently cited safety hazards.”

The pair of recent inspections continues the company’s history of failing to protect its roofing workers. Since 2014, ECS Roofing Professionals has been cited seven times by OSHA for similar hazards at other job sites. The employer has failed to respond to OSHA’s requests for information, has not responded to citations from previous inspections and has had $139,656 in unpaid OSHA penalties referred to debt collection.

“While ECS Roofing Professionals seem willing to ignore the dangers of falls and the potential for serious injuries or worse, OSHA will hold Joshua Herion and other roofing contractors accountable for failing to meet the legal requirements to provide safe working conditions,” said OSHA’s Area Director Christine Zortman in Milwaukee, who investigated the Waukesha job site. “Fall injuries and fatalities are preventable with the proper use of safety equipment and training.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2020, 1,008 construction workers died on the job, with 351 of those fatalities due to falls from elevation.

OSHA’s stop falls website offers safety information and video presentations in English and Spanish to teach workers about hazards and proper safety procedures. Learn more about OSHA’s annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls, set for May 2-6.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties for the Hoffman Estates site and the Waukesha site to comply, request an informal conference with each of OSHA’s area directors, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

10th year running: Fall Protection leads OSHA’s annual ‘Top 10’ list of most frequently cited violations

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Itasca, IL — “Fall Protection – General Requirements” is OSHA’s most frequently cited standard for the 10th successive fiscal year, the agency announced Feb. 26 during an exclusive Safety+Health webinar.

Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, presented preliminary data for OSHA’s Top 10 most cited violations for fiscal year 2020, which ended Sept. 30. S+H Associate Editor Kevin Druley moderated the session.

Although multiple standards swapped positions, the standards that make up the Top 10 remained unchanged from FY 2019. Of note, a newcomer emerged among the top five: Ladders, which ranked sixth in FY 2019, rose one spot. Additionally, Respiratory Protection climbed to third from fifth, while Lockout/Tagout fell two spots, dropping to sixth from fourth.

The full list:

  1. Fall Protection – General Requirements (29 CFR 1926.501): 5,424 violations
  2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200): 3,199
  3. Respiratory Protection (1910.134): 2,649
  4. Scaffolding (1926.451): 2,538
  5. Ladders (1926.1053): 2,129
  6. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147): 2,065
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178): 1,932
  8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503): 1,621
  9. Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection (1926.102): 1,369
  10. Machine Guarding (1910.212): 1,313

“Use the Top 10 as a guide for your workplace,” Kapust recommended. “It’s a good place to start if you don’t know where to start. Look at what OSHA is finding. Look at the things that are applicable to your particular industry as well.”


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

OSHA taking ‘good faith’ into account when issuing citations during COVID-19 pandemic

Washington — “Good-faith efforts” by employers to comply with worker safety regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic should be taken into “strong consideration,” OSHA states in an April 16 memo to area offices and compliance safety and health officers.

“The agency may issue a citation if it finds an employer cannot demonstrate any efforts to comply,” the agency states in a corresponding press release. “Once normal activities resume,” the agency will develop a program that looks at random samples of cases “where the agency noted, but did not cite, violations” to ensure corrective actions were taken.

OSHA notes that infection control measures, such as physical distancing, are limiting many employers’ ability to provide training, inspections, testing, auditing, and “other essential safety and industrial hygiene services.” Employees also have limited or no chance to participate in training or medical testing because of business closures and other restrictions.

The agency directs inspectors to evaluate whether an employer:

  • Explored all options to comply with applicable standards (e.g., use of virtual training or remote communication strategies)
  • Implemented interim alternative protections, such as engineering or administrative controls
  • Rescheduled required annual activity as quickly as possible

“Employers unable to comply with OSHA requirements because local authorities required the workplace to close should demonstrate a good-faith attempt to meet applicable requirements as soon as possible following the reopening of the workplace,” OSHA states.

The memo lists examples of situations in which area offices should consider enforcement discretion, including annual audiograms, hazardous waste operations training and construction crane operator certification.

“Where enforcement discretion is warranted, area offices will ensure that sufficient documentation (e.g., notes on the efforts the employer made to comply, letters or other documentation showing that providers had closed) is provided in the case file to support the decision,” the memo states.