No Cave-in Protection for Workers in 24-foot Trench

Indiana OSHA cited a construction contractor for failing to provide protection for employees working in a 24-foot-deep trench. Inspectors also found several serious trench-related violations involving insufficient supports, failure to keep materials and equipment at least 2 feet away from the excavation’s edge and allowing an employee to work in a trench that was accumulating water.

The company was cited for 1 willful violation for failure to protect employees working in excavations from cave-ins by using adequate protection systems. In addition, the company was also cited for 10 serious violations for failure to:

  • Ensure employees were wearing hard hats in area where hazards of flying and falling objects existed
  • Protect or support 6-inch water main in excavation
  • Provide ladders, ramps, or other safe means of egress in 24-foot-deep trench
  • Prevent employees from working in trench that was accumulating water
  • Keep materials and equipment at least 2 feet from trench’s edge
  • Ensure competent person would remove employee exposed to trenching hazard from hazardous area
  • Prevent use of trench shield system missing spreader bar
  • Ensure all locking pins were in place on trench shield system
  • Install trench shield in manner to restrict hazardous movement in event of sudden lateral load
  • Protect employees working in trench from cave-in when entering or exiting area protected by shields

The fines levied by Indiana OSHA totaled $191,398. Want to learn more about how to properly protect your employees working in trenches? Enroll into NASP’s Trenching and Excavation Specialist Course or obtain your Certified Safety Manager-Construction certificate today!