Cal/OSHA Cites Company in Fatal Trench Collapse

Cal/OSHA Cites Company in Fatal Trench Collapse

Louise Esola | Business Insurance

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has cited a Riverside construction company $66,000 for serious workplace safety violations that resulted in the death of a worker when a 17-foot-deep trench collapsed, Cal/OSHA announced on Tuesday.

Investigators determined that Empire Equipment Services Inc., which had already been cited for a similar violation, did not properly classify the soil and failed to correctly slope the excavation, according to a statement chronicling the May 9 incident when two workers were installing sewer pipes at a residential construction site in Lake Forest, California. A 30-foot-wide section of the trench’s sidewall sloughed and collapsed and only one of the workers was able to escape, Cal/OSHA reported.

Cal/OSHA’s investigation found that the company failed to ensure the site was inspected by someone who was deemed competent by the employer and familiar with trench hazards, soil classification and the appropriate safety requirements. The soil at the worksite was unstable, requiring an adequate protective system, according to the statement…(Read the full story)

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