Fatal trench collapse results in citations, fines
All Power Construction Corp. of Huntsville, Alabama faces $139,684 in proposed penalties following a trench collapse that killed a temporary employee in November 2017. A staffing company, Labor Finders of Tennessee Inc., has $12,934 in penalties levied against it – the maximum allowed.
The worker was in a trench that was 8 feet deep, 3 feet wide and 200 feet long, installing sewer lines, when the trench wall collapsed.
- allowing employees to work in a trench without cave-in protection
- failing to provide a safe means to enter and exit the trench, and
- not having a competent person inspect the trench to identify potential hazards.
OSHA cited the staffing agency for one serious violation for not ensuring that employees were trained on trenching and excavation hazards.
The investigation was part of OSHA’s National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation.
“Employers are responsible for ensuring their worksites are free of recognized hazards,” said Ramona Morris, OSHA Birmingham Area Office Director. “This tragedy could have been prevented had the employer followed the necessary steps to ensure that protective systems were used.”