OSHA cites three contractors in trench incident

Nov. 9, 2023
In addition to the workers' company, two others who were watching were fined.
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An investigation of a job site in Middleburg, Florida, resulted in three separate contractors receiving citations, including the owner of the excavator.

On July 27, 2023, an investigator from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration observed three Aquino Construction employees working in an unprotected trench installing casing around an existing sewer line. The 55-foot-long trench measured about 8 feet deep and 9 feet wide and lacked shoring or a trench box to prevent cave-ins, according to OSHA.

Read also: What is a protective system for trenches?

The investigator also saw a superintendent employed by KBT Contracting—the project’s general contractor—standing on the trench’s edge and the owner of Darmick LLC in an excavator, watching the employees working.

OSHA cited all three employers with one willful violation each for exposing employees to cave-in hazards by failing to shore the trench or use a protective system such as a trench box. The agency also cited each employer with a serious violation for placing spoil piles on the leading edge of the trench, exposing workers to struck-by hazards.

OSHA proposed $65,182 in penalties for KBT Contracting Corp. and $33,261 in proposed penalties each to Aquino Construction and Darmick.

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Rod Sutton

Sutton has served as the editorial lead of Construction Equipment magazine and ConstructionEquipment.com since 2001. 

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