Rocking L Dozer cited for fatal trench collapse

Oct. 2, 2023
Worker was killed when a 10-foot-deep trench collapsed.
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Rocking L Dozer and Land Management LLC, Chaney, Oklahoma, has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in a fatal trench collapse. OSHA has proposed $82,149 in penalties.

A U.S. Department of Labor investigation found that Rocking L Dozer could have prevented a trench collapse that fatally injured a project manager at a McAlester work site in May 2023.

OSHA investigators learned that the project manager and other workers employed by Rocking L Dozer were putting gravel rock around a newly replaced 24-inch sewer line in a 10-foot-deep excavation when the trench collapsed. OSHA determined that—by not following federal safety standards for trenching and excavation work—the company exposed its employees to trench hazards.

Read also: 8 trenching safety tips

OSHA cited the company for one willful violation for not using protective systems in a trench deeper than 5 feet. The agency also identified serious violations for:

  • Failing to secure obstacles on the surface area near the trench.
  • Not providing safe entry into or exit from the trench.
  • Allowing standing water in the trench.
  • Failing to perform daily inspections.

“A worker has lost their life because Rocking L Dozer and Land Management disregarded its responsibility to ensure the safety of its employees,” said Steven Kirby, OSHA area director in Oklahoma City, in a statement. “Employers are required by law to follow safety and health procedures that are put in place to prevent tragedies like this from occurring.”

In operation for three years, Rocking L Dozer and Land Management LLC provides dozers, pond building, land clearing, and other land management and construction services, according to OSHA.

Source: OSHA