AUGUSTA, Maine — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a Gardiner-based pipeline company for “alleged repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards,” the federal agency announced Monday.
Everett J. Prescott Inc., which installs water and sewer pipelines and has offices in nine states, faces a total of $76,230 in proposed fines following a routine OSHA inspection which began in March of a Scarborough worksite.
The inspectors cited the company for the failing to protect workers from cave-ins after inspectors came across workers installing a pipe at the bottom of a hole more than 7 feet deep that lacked protection against collapse, according to an OSHA press release. The company was cited for similar violations in 2009, according to OSHA. The proposed penalties for repeat violations are $69,300.
“Repeat excavation violations are unacceptable because they signal a recurring failure on the part of the employer to ensure that workers are safe while on the job,” William Coffin, OSHA’s area director for Maine, said in a statement. “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 also cited the company for “serious violations,” such as not having portable ladders that extended at least 3 feet above the surface of the excavation and failing to keep objects two feet from the edge of the excavation, according to the release. The proposed penalties for the serious violations are $6,930.
Calls to Everett J. Prescott Inc. were directed to Ray Morang, the company’s director of safety. Morang could not be reached for comment Tuesday morning.
The proposed fines are for alleged safety violations. There were no incidents at the Everett J. Prescott job site in Scarborough.
Everett J. Prescott Inc. has 15 business days to comply, meet with OSHA or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.