General Contractor, Subcontractor Cited in Fatal Trench Collapse

A 31-year-old day laborer was killed in the August 2014 collapse at a Birmingham, Ala., work site, OSHA reported.

OSHA has cited the general contractor and also a subcontractor in connection with a fatal trench collapse at a work site in Birmingham, Ala., in August 2014. The agency reported that day laborer LeDone McCruter, 31, was working in a 12-foot-deep trench to connect a new home's plumbing to the main sewer line, when the trench collapsed. Rescue workers tried for more than six hours to save him, according to OSHA's news release.

OSHA investigators found that subcontractor Joshua Dailey, who hired McCruter, did not provide cave-in protection to prevent the trench collapse. OSHA deemed Dailey responsible for one willful and one serious safety violation and the site's general contractor, Otis Bates and Bates Construction, responsible for one serious safety violation.

"Mr. McCruter's employers knew they were placing him in mortal danger by not using cave-in protection, yet they allowed him to work in the trench," said Ramona Morris, director of OSHA's Birmingham Area Office. "His family is grieving the death of a loved one because his employer willfully failed to protect him from this known hazard."

A willful citation was issued to Dailey for not providing cave-in protection to employees working in a trench, and Dailey also was cited for not notifying OSHA of the fatality. OSHA proposed that Dailey be placed in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, as well.

Bates Construction received a serious citation for failure to provide cave-in protection to employees working in a trench. Proposed penalties in the case total $53,800.

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