Triumph Construction cited in trench deaths

Oct. 18, 2023
A concrete slab collapsed on the workers.
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Triumph Construction failed to ensure proper safeguards and is responsible for the deaths of two employees, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA noted four serious violations and fined the company $59,153.

The two workers were fatally injured in a trench at a construction site at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens on April 3, 2023.

The two employees were attempting to remove soil from below a concrete slab located within a trench when the slab broke apart and collapsed, fatally crushing both workers.

OSHA inspectors found that Triumph Construction failed to support the concrete slab, failed to instruct employees on safe methods to remove the slab, and failed to construct the excavation’s protective system based on designs in accordance with OSHA standards.

Read also: What is a protective system for trenches?

“Working in excavations is inherently dangerous,” said Kevin Sullivan, Long Island and Queens area director, OSHA, in a statement. “Demolition of existing structures must be carefully planned, and shoring systems must be built according to their design. Employers are obligated to make a good faith effort to recognize, evaluate and control workplace hazards throughout the course of the work and as conditions change, which Triumph did not do. Diligent oversite and management of changing worksite conditions could have helped prevent this tragedy from happening.”

About the Author

Rod Sutton

I have served as the editorial lead of Construction Equipment magazine and since 2001. 

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