There seem to be no end to the types of risks workers in the construction industry in Ohio face on the job. Working around heavy materials and machinery, at great heights and near electricity are just some of these risks. Construction employes who work in trenches also must deal with dangers but should be able to trust that their employers have proper safety plans and procedures in place to protect them.
Tragically, one man who was working for an excavation company based in Ohio was not so fortunate. He died at the end of last year after a 16-foot trench collapsed on him while he was in it. Construction Dive reports that an investigation by the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration identified multiple violations on behalf of the employer.
The company is said to have failed to require staff to wear protective head gear, create and implement an action plan in the event of an emergency requiring medical care, remove water as it built up in a trench and to ensure full protections against trench cave-ins. OSHA also found improper use of entry and exit ladders and did not take steps to ensure employees were not working below trench boxes.
In addition to a fine of more than $200,000, the excavation contractor has been placed on OSHA’s Severe Violation Enforcement Program. It is not clear if the family of the deceased man has filed any civil action in the case or if any other workers on the same job site have been injured or killed recently.