Labor dept. cites plumbing contractor after fatal trench collapse

By FROM STAFF REPORTS,

TAYLOR – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Rhobina Electric Inc. – a commercial electrical and plumbing contractor based in Batesville, Mississippi – for exposing employees to excavation hazards after a worker suffered fatal injuries in a trench collapse at a Taylor, Mississippi, worksite. The contractor faces $37,318 in penalties.

The employee was installing sewer pipe to a new concrete manhole when the collapse occurred. OSHA cited the company for allowing employees to work in a trench without hard hats and cave-in protection, and for not removing workers from a trench that showed signs of water intrusion and possible collapse. OSHA also cited the contractor for failing to meet the reporting requirement, which mandates that employers notify OSHA within eight hours of any incident involving an employee fatality.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings.