An Andover, Massachusetts water and sewer line contractor is facing $65,800 in fines after OSHA inspectors discovered his employees toiling in a six-foot-deep trench that was not properly shored.
Additionally, the James T. Lynch Construction Co. Inc. failed to provide employees in the trench with a ladder, so that they could enter and exit safely.
The contractor also failed to contact Dig Safe, a not-for-profit clearinghouse that notifies participating utility companies of plans to dig prior to digging the trench.
As a result of these conditions, OSHA cited James T. Lynch Construction for one willful and two serious violations of workplace safety standards.
"This employer knows that trenches five feet or deeper must be protected against collapse but did not slope the soil at a shallow angle, shore up the trench's sidewalls or otherwise protect against a cave-in," said Anthony Covello, OSHA's area director for Middlesex and Essex counties.