North Carolina Electric Distributor Cited for Safety Hazards at Florida Worksite

June 23, 2020

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Florida Progress LLC, operating as Duke Energy Florida LLC, for exposing employees to excavation hazards at a Zephyrhills, Fla., worksite. The Charlotte, N.C.-based electric power distributor faces $53,976 in penalties.

OSHA was initially notified of an employee hospitalized after a trench wall collapsed on him. The agency then initiated an inspection as part of the National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation.

OSHA cited the company’s failure to train employees on how to recognize trench safety hazards, have a competent person conduct trench inspections, provide a safe means of egress from the excavation, place the spoil pile a safe distance from the trench walls and use shoring, sloping or other protective measures to protect workers.

“Employers must take necessary steps to protect employees working in excavations,” said OSHA Acting Tampa Area Office Director Condell Eastmond in a U.S. Department of Labor press release. “Failing to correct hazards places workers at risk of serious and fatal injuries.”

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed 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.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

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