OSHA Cites Baton Rouge Business in Fatal Trench Collapse

Ted Hebert LLC faces willful and serious violations.

After an OSHA inspection, the agency cited Ted Hebert LLC of Baton Rouge for one willful and five serious violations, the agency announced. The willful violation was given for exposing workers to trench hazards and failing to provide an adequate protection system, such as a trench box or similar equipment, to keep the trench from collapsing.

The 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, keeping materials too close to a trench edge, allowing water to accumulate inside a trench, and failing to maintain a workplace free from recognized hazards.

"There is no excuse for exposing workers to deadly trench collapse hazards," said Dorinda Folse, OSHA's area director in Baton Rouge. "The employer knew what needed to be done, yet a broken trench box lay nearby. Workers had to enter an unsafe trench with no adequate means of keeping the trench from caving in on them."

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