NEW YORK Pipe supplier Everett J. Prescott Inc. (EJP) faces $76,230 in fines for allegedly violating workplace safety standards, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced.
OSHA inspectors happened upon an open, unguarded, 7-foot-3-inch-deep excavation in Scarborough, Maine, where EJP workers were installing a large valve in a pipe. The workers were not adequately protected from cave-ins and supervisory personnel failed to immediately remove workers from the area, according to OSHA.
"The walls of an unguarded excavation can collapse suddenly and with great force, burying workers beneath tons of soil before they have a chance to react or escape," OSHA area director William Coffin said in a statement.
EJP was cited for repeat and serious violations, OSHA said. The company reportedly was cited for similar violations in 2009.
The company has 15 business days to comply with OSHA orders, meet with OSHA or contest the findings
Gardiner, Maine-based EJP produces pipes, tubes, and fittings for water, sewer and drain projects. It did not return calls for comment.