One worker noticed a large crack in the soft dirt of an unprotected wall of a utility trench. He and the other worker in the trench at that time were told to use caution…but continue working.
The subsequent collapse of that unprotected wall killed a man and earned his employer nearly a quarter of a million dollars in fines from Cal/OSHA.
Investigators for the state agency said Livermore-based contractor Platinum Pipeline, Inc. committed willful-serious safety violations by instructing employees to continue grading the bottom of the trench without providing any protection, even after identifying the soil as unstable.
An alarming leap in excavation and trench-related fatalities has made reducing them an Agency Priority Goal for OSHA for 2018.
The agency plans to accomplish this by increasing awareness of trenching hazards in construction, educating employers and workers on safe cave-in prevention solutions, and decreasing the number of trench collapses.
A New York State Supreme Court judge ordered a general contractor to either create a TV public service announcement or pay a $10,000 fine for its role in the death of an employee at a construction site.
An employee of St. Charles/Resurrection Cemeteries in Farmingdale, New York, was seriously injured on May 7, 2015, when the walls of the grave opening in which he was working collapsed and buried him up to his waist.
Recently in Texas, two men were seriously injured on the job. In some ways, their circumstances looked very different. They were in different cities, working for different employers. One was repairing a roof, high above the ground. The other was in a trench, about eight feet down.