Utility Construction Company Exposes Employees to Cave-in Hazards

Anrich Inc. exposed employees to hazards in a nearly 8-foot-deep trench, according to OSHA.

Anrich Inc., of Wayne, Pa., exposed workers to cave-in hazards in a ditch more than 7 feet deep, according to OSHA. An inspection found employees working in an unprotected excavation approximately 14 feet long, 10 feet wide, and more than 7 feet deep without proper cave-in protection and no safe means of exit. Due to rain that day, water was also accumulating in the excavation and flowing from an existing pipeline.

The company was cited for one willful, one repeat, and one serious violation because of the incident. The serious violation was issued for not protecting employees from hazards associated with water accumulation in the trench.

"Without the proper precautions to prevent cave-ins or safe means of exit, a trench can easily become a grave,” said Mark Stelmack, director of OSHA's Wilkes-Barre Area Office. "Employers are responsible for ensuring that effective safety measures are in place and in use before their workers enter a trench."

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