A contracting company faces $159,600 in OSHA fines following the death of one employee and the hospitalization of another.
Ray Blackmon, an employee of L & K Contracting of Dothan, AL, was killed after wet, heavy soil collapsed into a deep trench while he and another worker were installing sewer pipe. Blackmon, 48, suffered 16 broken ribs.
- a willful citation for the company’s failure to take adequate action to protect workers from soil that fell into the excavation
- a willful citation for failure to protect workers from hazards associated with water accumulation in an excavation
- a willful citation for failure to ensure workers wore appropriate personal protective equipment while in the trench
- a serious citation for allowing employees to work inside a trench approximately 10 feet deep without a safe means of exit, and
- an other-than-serious citation for failing to report the fatality to OSHA within the required eight-hour time period.
OSHA standards require trenches five feet or deeper to be protected against collapse.