OSHA Cites Company After Death in Trench Collapse

OSHA cited the business for one "willful violation" and five serious violations and said the company could face fines of $105,000.

📅   Fri November 27, 2015 - Southeast Edition
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The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited a Baton Rouge company with violations after a trench collapse killed a worker.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited a Baton Rouge company with violations after a trench collapse killed a worker.

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited a Baton Rouge company with violations after a trench collapse killed a worker.

The federal agency cited Ted Hebert LLC on Thursday for one ”willful violation’ and five serious violations and said the company could face fines of $105,000, The Times-Picayune (http://bit.ly/1XdB4jr) reports.

On May 20, Isidro Cigarroa Martinez died and a second worker was injured when a wall of a trench collapsed at a construction site. Emergency crews worked for two hours to remove Martinez’s body from the area.

”There is no excuse for exposing workers to deadly trench collapse hazards,’ said Dorinda Folse, the federal agency’s area director in Baton Rouge.

An OSHA statement said the willful violation involved exposing workers to trench hazards and failing to provide an adequate protection system. It also said serious violations included failing to train workers to recognize unsafe conditions, neglecting to have a ladder or other means for workers to exit a trench and failing to maintain a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm.

”The employer knew what needed to be done, yet a broken trench box lay nearby,’ Folse said. ”Workers had to enter an unsafe trench with no adequate means of keeping the trench from caving in on them.’

The company specializes in installing sewer and water pipes. It has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to request a conference with the agency’s area director or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Company officials couldn’t be reached for comment by the paper Thursday.