On August 10th, 2023, two Pyles Plumbing and Utility Contractors Inc. employees were installing sewer-line piping when the trench’s side collapsed. One worker suffered fatal injuries, and another employee was hospitalized due to several fractures sustained in the cave-in.

OSHA cited the employer for two willful violations: not providing trench shields that followed all specifications, recommendations, and limitations issued by the manufacturer and neglecting to put a safe means to exit a trench box in place.

Additionally, OSHA cited the employer for three serious violations: allowing employees to work inside a trench with defective trench shields without head protection and failing to train employees to recognize and avoid hazards while working inside a trench.

OSHA has proposed $308,125 in penalties.


Upcoming Confined Space Entry & Rescue Course

Underground construction work can shift to confined space regulations in an excavation or trench environment, where workers must enter structures like precast pipes, manholes, vaults, or other similar configurations that meet the definition of a confined space.

Are you and your team prepared for confined space entry and rescue operations? Join NASP aboard the USS North Carolina for our upcoming 40-Hour Confined Space Entry & Rescue Program Manager course from April 22nd through April 26th! This intense course combines classroom-based training on various confined space concepts with rigorous hands-on practical exercises simulating confined space rescues that will require attendees to enter vertical and horizontal spaces, package, and extricate victims.

This class is limited to 16 students; we have just 4 seats left! Click here to register today!

About the Author


Pete Nemmers

Pete Nemmers serves as NASP’s Director of Training Development, bringing a wealth of expertise to the organization. With a background rooted in safety and training, Pete plays a pivotal role in shaping the training programs offered by NASP. Pete ensures that NASP remains at the forefront of safety education, equipping professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate and excel in the dynamic field of safety.
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