OSHA has cited Douglas N. Higgins Inc. for exposing employees to cave-in and other hazards at a Naples, Fla. worksite, and is now facing $18,659 in penalties after an inspection.
The latest citations come after OSHA inspected the worksite as part of the Agency’s National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation. Inspectors found the company allowed employees to work in a trench without cave-in protection and failed to maintain a safety and health program on excavation hazards.
The company has been cited on several occasions in the past. On Jan. 16, 2017, 34-year-old Elway Gray, 49-year-old Louis O’Keefe, and 24-year-old Robert Wilson, died after succumbing to noxious gases while working for Douglas N. Higgins, according to the Miami Herald. Higgins and a subtracting firm racked up citations totaling $119,507.
In May 2018, a steel plate fell and fatally injured another Douglas N. Higgins worker while the employee was trenching sewer lines. OSHA proposed $162,596 in fines after completing an investigation into the incident.