OSHA Cites Landscaping Company for Trench Collapse

OSHA has released its findings from the October 2014 incident in which two workers died.

OSHA announced it has found that a trench employees were working in for Bednar Landscape Services Inc. had no cave-in protection, leading to the death of two workers. As a result, the landscaping and excavating company has been cited for one willful and nine serious safety violations.

The willful citation was due to the trench not being adequately sloped, protected by shields, or shoring. The serious violations included not providing a ladder in the trench every 25 feet to allow safe exit, not having a competent person inspect the trench, and failures to have utilities marked out, provide head protection, and train workers on the hazards of the chemicals with which they worked.

"One cubic yard of soil can weigh as much as a small car when a trench caves in or collapses. Without the required protections, these men had no way to escape and their heartbroken families are left to make sense of a needless tragedy," said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA's Parsippany Area Office. "Bednar management placed its employees in mortal danger by not using cave-in protections, and we believe these managers were plainly indifferent to the serious dangers their workers faced."

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