Company fined for safety violations in fatal trench collapse

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A construction company that employed a man who died in an Altoona trench collapse has been fined for safety violations.

The Des Moines Register reports that federal safety regulators have proposed $4,500 in fines against JRS Excavating, which is based in St. Charles. Its employee Justin Jorgensen died Jan. 6 after the trench collapse, despite frantic rescue efforts at the residential construction site in Altoona.

A safety investigation disclosed that a trench wall collapsed because workers didn’t put any protective systems in place.

The company has declined to comment. Authorities say penalties are not enhanced when violations are fatal.

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