OSHA News Release - Table of Contents
Trade News Release Banner Image

Region 6 News Release: DOL-OSHA-10-1262-DAL
Sept. 14, 2010
Contact: Elizabeth Todd    Juan Rodriguez
Email: todd.elizabeth@dol.gov   rodriguez.juanj@dol.gov
Phone: 972-850-4710    972-850-4709

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Austin, Texas, construction
company $51,000 for exposing workers to excavation and fall hazards

AUSTIN, Texas - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited S.J. Louis Construction of Texas Ltd. based in Austin with 10 alleged serious and two other-than-serious violations for exposing workers to multiple safety hazards, including a possible trench cave-in and exposure to electrical hazards at the company's Leander, Texas, worksite. Proposed penalties total $51,000.

"OSHA has specific standards to prevent trenching hazards that employers are required to follow. A trenching cave-in can quickly lead to a worker dying," said Casey Perkins, area director of OSHA's Austin Area Office. "It's the employers' responsibility to protect workers and when employers fail to do so, OSHA will cite them."

OSHA's Austin Area Office began its investigation on March 23 at the company's worksite on Trails End Road in Leander, where employees were working in a 17-foot deep excavation site that was not properly shielded or sloped to protect workers from a possible cave-in. The inspection was conducted under the agency's National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation.

Serious violations include failing to provide the required excavation sloping to prevent a possible cave-in, perform effective excavation inspections, provide rescue equipment for workers who were welding in confined spaces, provide the safe placement of a ladder for egress during excavation activities, provide the proper machine guarding for a rotating shaft on a piece of equipment and ensure workers were adequ