The deaths of two Florida workers in a trenching incident have resulted in $33,259 in proposed fines for their employer, Archer Western Construction Inc.

How it happened

The two workers were crushed when a section of a concrete highway barrier collapsed on them as they removed a storm drain system at a Miami worksite.

Following an investigation into the fatalities, OSHA cited the Atlanta-based company for: exposing employees to struck-by hazards by allowing them to work near a concrete barrier that was not shored, braced, or underpinned; and allowing employees to perform trenching work in an area that was not inspected for hazards.

The investigation was part of OSHA's National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation.


"Trenching and excavation work is especially dangerous when appropriate protective systems are not used," said OSHA Fort Lauderdale Area Office Director Condell Eastmond. "This tragedy could have been prevented if the employer had ensured that adjoining structures were shored, braced, or underpinned to avoid a collapse."