OSHA fines O'Neill construction firm after deaths

The U-S Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a northeast Nebraska company for alleged violations of the OSHA act.

The action against John Prouty Construction of O’Neill follows an investigation of a trench collapse near Verdel, Nebraska, that killed four workers last September.

OSHA’s investigation of the excavation company’s site found alleged willful and serious violations. The willful violations stem from the company’s failure to instruct employees in recognizing and avoiding unsafe conditions when working in a trench and not having a cave-in protection system.

The serious violations concern the lack of hard hat use by employees and failure to provide safe access into and out of a trench greater than four-feet in depth.

OSHA has proposed over $201,000 in penalties against the company. John Prouty Construction has 15 business days to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director in Omaha, or contest the findings.

Thanks to Larry Schmitz, KLEM, LeMars