Tamuning contractor 'Superman Corp' facing serious osha violations
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a Tamuning construction company for serious violations that endangered workers at a Mangilao construction site.
The "Superman Corp" was slapped with more than $73,000 in fines and penalties for potentially deadly trench hazards at the Paradise Court subdivision project.
OSHA area office director Roger Forstner says company president Allen Kim was also cited for "willful violations" after it was determined that he had been trained previously on trench safety, and warned repeatedly of related hazards by engineers at the site before OSHA's inspection.
"In that case, we know the employer is... Basically they had to disregard, where they kinda put getting the work done, making a profit, whatever the case is, ahead of employee safety," Forstner said. "It's a big increase in penalties because as an agency we really wanna deter people from putting people in harm's way."
OSHA says trench collapses are among the most serious dangers in the construction industry.
The agency has increased enforcement after 22 workers died in such incidents in the first six months of last year.
Since 2011 there have been more than 200 trenching casualties.
"With trenches it usually happens very fast, sometimes people think oh I can get out, you can't, it happens so quickly, and the weight of the soil compresses against the body and they can't breathe so I think in this situation we're fortunate that we weren't doing a fatality investigation, it was just an investigation of an ongoing hazard," Forstner said.
The company has 15 business days to comply, request a conference with OSHA, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.