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OSHA cites contractor following fatal trench collapse

Posted On: Jul. 15, 2021 11:30 AM CST


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed $110,590 in penalties to a company conducting underground utility work after an investigation found that it exposed workers to cave-in hazards, leading to one worker’s death in January.

Huntsville, Alabama-based Weaver Environmental Services Inc. is accused of failing to conduct proper safety inspections of open trenches/excavations and failing to use a shielding system that was available and onsite, resulting in one willful violation for exposing workers to cave-in hazards, and two serious violations for related offenses.

The citations follow a Jan. 15 incident in which an employee entered a deep trench to work on underground utility pipes. Shortly after he entered the trench, it collapsed around him, suffocating the employee beneath thousands of pounds of soil, according to OSHA.

The company could not immediately be reached for comment.