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Guam contractor faces $1 million in penalties for OSHA violations

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

A Guam contractor is facing more than $1 million in penalties for alleged violations of federal safety standards, exposing its workers to fatal dangers.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Giant Construction Corp. has a history of failing to protect its employees working in trenches from potentially deadly harm.

During a site inspection at a worksite in the Palisades Subdivision Project in Tiyan, federal investigators found employees who were installing sewer lines were in trenches deeper than 5 feet without required safety equipment, OSHA said.

A general contractor specializing in residential and commercial construction. Giant Construction is a contractor for the Guam Waterworks Authority.

“Giant Construction Corp. has shown a flagrant disregard for the safety of its employees and put workers at risk of serious and potentially fatal injuries,” said Roger Forstner, OSHA area office director in Honolulu.

He said despite the owner's admission to understanding the dangers, the company "still chooses to put profit before people."


OSHA officials said trench collapses are among the construction industry’s most serious dangers. Excavations can collapse in seconds and lead to serious and often fatal injuries as workers are buried under cubic yards of soil, each weighing as much as 3,000 lbs. In 2022, trench collapses killed at least 39 U.S. construction workers.

"The significant penalties assessed after this inspection send a clear signal to Giant Construction Corp. and other employers that OSHA will not tolerate such callous attitudes when employees are endangered," Forstner said.

OSHA cited Giant Construction Corp. for nine willful violations for its multiple failures to protect employees working in trenches. The agency also cited the company for two serious violations for not providing adequate means to exit trenches.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of notice of violations to either comply or challenge the citations.

Since 2014, Giant Construction has been subject to five other OSHA inspections in which the agency cited the company for nine violations, including two serious violations and one repeat violation in October 2022. Among its past infractions are violations related to failures to protect employees from trench hazards.

Trenches must be inspected by a knowledgeable person and there must be a safe means of egress from the trench before allowing a worker to enter.


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