OSHA cites Ala. company in death of construction worker

Published 5:16 pm Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration has cited an Alabama company for safety violations in the April death of a construction worker at a site in Gulfport.

Eleazar Casiano, 20, of Mount Olive, N.C., was working on a sewer project April 27 in Harrison County when a 10-foot trench collapsed, burying him. Casiano was employed by Big Warrior of Cleveland, Ala.

Two other workers in the trench were able to escape, but the weight and movement of the wet clay crushed the head and chest of Casiano, local officials said.

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Clyde Payne, area director for OSHA in Jackson, said the safety agency has proposed penalties of $78,100.

“This company disregarded its own safety manual requirements and federal safety regulations, with tragic results,” Payne said Tuesday in a statement.

Payne said the workers did not shore-up the earthen walls before they dug underneath 48-inch drainage pipes to lay sewer pipes. He said the penalty for the violation was $56,000.

OSHA also issued seven serious violations with proposed penalties of $22,100. The company was cited for failing to provide safety training to workers and failing to conduct a soil analysis.

The company has 15 working days to contest the citation and penalties.