15 Deaths Due to Trench Hazards in 2017

OSHA released a statement highlighting the dangers of excavation work after citing a Missouri plumbing contractor

OSHA has determined that Arrow Plumbing LLC of Blue Springs, Mo., failed to provide basic safeguards to prevent trench collapse and did not train its employees to recognize and avoid cave-in and other hazards after an inspection following the death of a worker found yet another employee working in a similarly unprotected trench as a separate site.

In the first five months of 2017, 15 deaths and 19 injuries related to trench and excavation operations have been reported nationwide.

“We call on all employers involved in excavation work to review their safety procedures, and to ensure that all workers are properly protected and trained on the job,” said Kimberly Stille, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Regional Administrator in Kansas City, Missouri. “We support the efforts by the National Utility Contractors Association to raise awareness of trenching hazards in the U.S.”

An employee of the plumbing contractor died when a 12-foot trench collapsed at a home construction site. Arrow Plumbing was cited for six willful and eight serious violations of workplace safety standards and faced $714,142 in fines.

The news comes during Trench Safety Stand-Down Week, which OSHA supports.

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