U.S. Department of Labor Cites Excavating Company Following Fatal Trench Collapse

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited JK Excavating & Utilities Inc. after an employee suffered fatal injuries in a trench collapse. OSHA has proposed penalties of $202,201, and placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

OSHA investigators determined that employees at a residential construction site in Morrow, Ohio, were working in trenches up to 16-feet deep without adequate cave-in protection. OSHA cited the company for failing to use protective systems to prevent a cave-in; implement methods to remove accumulating water; properly use ladders to enter and exit the trench; prevent employees from working beneath a suspended trench box; ensure employees wore hard hats; and make provisions for prompt medical attention in the event of injury.

“A trench can collapse in seconds, burying workers under the weight of thousands of pounds of soil,” said Ken Montgomery, OSHA Cincinnati Area Office Director. “This tragedy was preventable, and could have been avoided if the employer had installed required protective systems to prevent a trench cave-in.”

The company 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.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov.

All In One Poster Company offers the following poster with regards to Trenching.


Maryland: Workers’ Comp Insurers May Provide a Premium Discount to Employers with Certain Alcohol- and Drug-Free Workplace Policies

Law Effective October 1, 2016

Under a new law in Maryland, a workers’ compensation insurer may file a rating plan that provides for a premium discount for appropriate classifications (or sub-classifications) of a risk of up to 4% to an insured employer that has an alcohol- and drug-free workplace policy that may include one or more of the following programs:

  1. An alcohol and drug testing program;drug-and-alcohol-free-workplace-english-thumb
  2. An employee education program on alcohol and drug abuse;
  3. A supervisor education program on alcohol and drug abuse;
  4. An employee assistance program that includes referrals of employees for appropriate diagnosis, treatment, and assistance;
  5. A program requiring an employee who has caused or contributed to an accident while at work to undergo alcohol or drug testing; and
  6. Any other program that the insurer deems effective to encourage an alcohol- and drug-free workplace.

Note: An insurer is not required to provide a premium discount under the new state law if the insured is required under federal or state law to test its employees for drugs or otherwise provide an alcohol- and a drug-free workplace.

The law is effective October 1, 2016. Click here to read the text of the law.


Cal/OSHA Warns Condom Use Required in Adult Films Standards Board Vote Does Not Change Current Requirements

Oakland—Following Thursday’s meeting of the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board where it did not adopt a proposed standard pertaining to the adult film industry, Cal/OSHA warns that barrier protection including condoms is still required to protect adult film workers from exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials. The existing standard has been in effect since 1993 and is enforced by Cal/OSHA.

“Condoms are required to protect adult film workers from exposure to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “Cal/OSHA will continue to enforce the existing regulations and investigate complaints in the adult film industry.”

Workers in the adult film industry should know current laws protect them from injury and illness on the job, and where to go for help if their employer doesn’t follow those laws. More information on how to file a complaint with Cal/OSHA can be found on the Cal/OSHA website or by calling (714) 558-4300. Employers in the adult film industry must also know how to protect their employees from health and safety hazards and understand the consequences of failing to comply with state regulations.

Cal/OSHA Cites Two Employers for Serious Meat-Grinder Accident

dkyhr-so-76San Luis Obispo—Cal/OSHA has cited Vitco Meats and temporary employment agency Volt Workforce Solutions a combined $74,500 following a nearly fatal accident at a San Luis Obispo meat processing plant that left a worker with a crushed right hand, a broken arm, and nerve damage. Neither company had trained the employee to safely operate or clean the industrial meat grinder he was operating.

“When companies hire temporary employees they do not sign away their responsibilities to protect workers from industrial accidents,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “Both temporary employment agencies and host employers are required to ensure workers are trained and understand safety procedures.”

On July 16, 2015, the worker was attempting to remove ground beef stuck inside the hopper of a meat mixer, which moves beef into the grinder. When he reached into the hopper, the power was still live. Paddles that move the beef rotated twice, causing severe injuries to the employee. Had the paddles rotated a third time, the accident could have been fatal.

Cal/OSHA’s investigation found that Vitco Meats did not require employees to disengage the power on industrial equipment prior to cleaning.  Additionally, the company lacked specific procedures for powering down the meat grinder, which also lacked a required cover with interlock. Cal/OSHA issued a total of nine citations to Vitco Meats with proposed penalties of $63,900.

Cal/OSHA also issued a serious citation to Volt Workforce Solutions for failing to ensure that Vitco Meats had an injury and illness prevention program or safety training for meat grinders. A serious violation is cited when there is a realistic possibility that death or serious harm could result from the actual hazardous condition.  The company was also issued one regulatory and two general citations for proposed penalties of $10,600.

Workers can be electrocuted or suffer permanent disfigurement due to inadvertent activation of a machine while it is being maintained, repaired or adjusted. Failure to Lockout-Tagout-ENGdevelop and follow lockout / tagout procedures before working on machinery is one of the major causes of serious injury and death in California. Lockout / tagout procedures refer to the use of devices to ensure equipment cannot be operated until the devices are removed. Use of these devices, and developing procedures to ensure their use, are required by the California Code of Regulations.


All In One Poster Company developed a Lockout-Tagout Poster that serves as a safety guideline regarding this topic. This laminated poster measures 24” x 39” and is designed with bright colors to capture the attention of people in the workplace.