OSHA Violations Set Prep School Back $331K

This military prep school may excel at preparing future leaders. Workers safety? Not so much.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Riverside Military Academy Inc. – a military college preparatory academy in Gainesville, Georgia – for exposing employees to trenching hazards. The company faces $381,882 in penalties, including citations for the maximum penalties allowed by law.

OSHA issued willful citations for allowing employees to work inside a trench without cave-in protection and a safe means to enter and exit the excavation, and failing to locate underground utilities prior to conducting excavation work. OSHA also issued serious citations for failing to identify permit-required confined spaces, and train employees to recognize and avoid trenching hazards. The investigation was part of OSHA’s National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation. OSHA has placed Riverside Military Academy Inc. in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

“Trenching and excavation hazards are preventable if employers follow OSHA standards and use required protective systems to keep workers safe,” said OSHA Atlanta-East Area Office Director William Fulcher.

OSHA’s Trenching and Excavation safety and health page includes information on sloping, shoring, and shielding trench walls to prevent trench cave-ins, and methods to prevent other trenching hazards.

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.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov

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