They tend to happen more on Mondays. They can occur in an instant. And trench deaths kill about 25 workers a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). About 75 percent of those deaths are due to cave-ins, which are largely preventable through cave-in protection and soil analysis. The remainder are mainly caused by struck-bys or electrocutions – also largely preventable.
Acting on a complaint in June 2016, OSHA found employees of one of the Verona, New Jersey area's largest general contractors working in an unprotected 10-foot deep excavation at a suburban New Jersey high school, in violation of federal safety and health laws. OSHA announced today it has issued citations for nine violations - one willful and eight serious - to The Landtek Group Inc., a New York-based general contractor that specializes in sports facility design and construction. The company faces $197,752 in fines as a result.
OSHA has cited a Sioux Falls, South Dakota excavating contractor for five serious safety violations after the agency's investigators found a 40-year-old equipment operator suffered severe injuries while working in a 16-foot-deep trench on Oct. 28, 2016.
Less than three weeks after being cited for exposing workers to unsafe trenches, federal investigators saw a Chicago plumbing contractor exposing the same four-man crew to trenching hazards as they worked on sewer and water utilities at two locations in Oak Park on consecutive days in March 2016.
OSHA issued citations to Alabama-based Stephens Plumbing for one willful and four serious safety violations. The agency initiated the inspection as part of its National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation after an inspector saw workers in a trench without protection.
South Carolina-based Jordan Construction Co. exposed workers at a Pooler, Georgia worksite to a variety of hazards, according to OSHA, which inspected the as part of its National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation.
Despite being cited by OSHA following a 2013 trench collapse, a follow-up inspection found that C & G Refrigeration Inc. of Hanover, Pennsylvania, was still exposing its employees to trenching hazards to potentially deadly trenching hazards while they performed underground utility work at a residence.