OSHA News Release - Table of Contents|
US Department of Labor's OSHA cites R.E. Arnold Construction and Suntree
Technologies for willful, serious safety violations following worker injury
Management repeatedly warned of unsafe conditions
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – An employee of R.E. Arnold Construction Inc. was trapped when the wall of an excavation he was working in collapsed around him. The incident occurred as the employee removed dirt from a storm filtration system at the company's work site, and the local fire and rescue team had to remove the employee, who left the scene in critical condition. As a result, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited R.E Arnold with one willful and two serious safety violations. The subcontractor, Suntree Technologies Inc., was cited for four serious safety violations. The city of Gainesville contracted R.E. Arnold to build a retaining pond and pump station for the Depot Park.
"These employers deliberately chose not to follow established OSHA standards for protecting workers in excavations and repeatedly ignored warnings-including one on the day of the incident-that the trench was unsafe," said Brian Sturtecky, OSHA's area director in Jacksonville. "This shortcut led to a worker seriously injured and nearly killed."
R.E. Arnold was issued a willful citation for failing to provide employees working in a 15-foot-deep excavation with required protection from wall collapse hazards. A Gainesville city safety inspector informed management numerous times that the excavation was unsafe, yet safety issues were not corrected. On the day of the incident, an inspector refused to enter the trench