Trench Collapse Leads to $63,360 Fine for Ohio Company

An OSHA inspector was performing a work site inspection when he directed an employee to exit the trench, believing collapse was imminent. Within five minutes the trench collapsed and could have buried the worker under 6 to 7 feet of soil.

OSHA has issued Trimat Construction Inc. of Bidwell, Ohio, six safety citations after a trench collapsed at a job site in Mercerville on March 8. The company faces penalties of $63,360.

An OSHA inspector was performing a work site inspection when he directed an employee to exit the trench, believing collapse was imminent. Within five minutes the trench collapsed and could have buried the worker under 6 to 7 feet of soil.

"The actions of the compliance officer likely saved this worker's life," said David Wilson, assistant area director of OSHA's Columbus Area Office. "Cave-ins are a leading cause of worker fatalities during excavations."

Two willful citations were issued for allowing a Trimat employee to work in a trench at a depth greater than 10 feet without cave-in protection or a safe means of egress.

The company also was issued four serious citations for failing to require employees to wear head protection, failing to provide training on proper set-up and inspection procedures for maintaining channelization devices between the work area and road to protect workers from traffic hazards; failure to provide a road zone barrier; and failing to keep excavated material and equipment 2 feet from the edge of an excavation to prevent a cave-in.

The inspection was conducted under OSHA's national emphasis program on trenching and excavation. OSHA standards mandate that all excavations 5 feet or deeper be protected against collapse. Detailed information on trenching and excavation hazards, adopted by OSHA in the 1980s, is available on the agency's website at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/trenchingexcavation/index.html.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping there are always questions regarding the requirements and in and outs. IndustrySafe is here to help. We put together this page with critical information to help answer your key questions about OSHA recordkeeping.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We put together a guide that’s easy to digest so you can ensure you're complying with OSHA's training standards.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus