After a trench collapse left one worker dead, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited ContractOne Inc. for multiple safety violations.
Multiple safety violations at the accident site
The construction company is based in Avon, CO. According to OSHA, the company failed to use proper trench protection systems on a residential construction site where workers installed water lines. ContractOne Inc. also failed to conduct regular safety inspections. OSHA also claims the construction company did not keep the excavated soil from the end of the trench, did not provide ladders and did not use appropriate utility locate procedures for the trenching.
Trenching hazards are well-known
OSHA alleged these safety failures contributed to the death of the worker. The safety oversight agency also stated trenching hazards are well-known. A company that takes proper precautions can prevent injuries and deaths.
ContractOne Inc. may have to pay penalties of $57,463.
A trench deeper than five feet is required to have protective systems. Soil and other materials must also be at least two feet from the edge of the trench.
Lack of safety precautions can cause cave-ins
According to the OSHA website, if protective systems are not in place, workers can suffocate, breath in toxic materials, drown, catch on fire or be crushed by a cave-in. Trenching sites must be inspected daily, after a rainstorm or after any other hazard-causing event. If excavated material or equipment is placed too close to the edge of a trench, it may cause a cave-in, or the soil or equipment can roll onto workers.
Workers can report trenching safety violations
Construction workers can report trenching safety violations to OSHA, or they notify their employer of safety lapses. A worker who is injured on a construction site is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. If an employer underpays or tries to deny your benefits, you have recourse against these unlawful actions.