OSHA has cited a South Florida utility company and related contracting company after the agency’s investigation into the deaths of three workers who succumbed to toxic gases in a manhole on January 16th, 2017. A 34-year-old pipe layer entered the manhole – a confined space – and quickly became unresponsive. A 49-year-old laborer entered the hole and attempted to rescue the first employee. After the second employee also became unresponsive, a 24-year-old equipment operator followed to help his fallen co-workers. All three men died. Post-incident atmospheric testing in the manhole revealed lethal levels of hydrogen sulfide and carbon monoxide. OSHA investigators cited Douglas N. Higgins, Inc. and its related contracting company, McKenna Contracting, LLC with 10 serious violations totaling $119,507, in penalties.
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