P. Gioioso & Sons, Inc. v. Occupational Safety & Health Admin., No. 10-2418 (1st Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
OSHA fined the employer, a public works contractor, $33,700 for violations of safety regulations relating to the excavation of a trench. The “cave-in” provision, 29 C.F.R. 1926.652(a)(1) requires protective measures, such as shoring or trench boxes, for excavations at least five feet deep and in potentially unstable soil; other rules require inspections by a competent person, and specific egress measures, 29 C.F.R. 1926.650-652. An ALJ confirmed the fine and the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission upheld the decision. The First Circuit denied review. An employer can be charged with constructive knowledge of a safety violation that supervisory employees know or should reasonably know about. The employer did not provide any documentary evidence of safety inspections. Substantial evidence supported the decision.