Trench Collapse Leads to Death of Worker in Dallas Suburb, Contractor Faces $165K in Proposed Penalties

Trench Collapse Leads to Death of Worker in Dallas Suburb, Contractor Faces $165K in Proposed Penalties

OSHA said the contractor lacked a trench protection system.

The death of a worker after a trench collapse has led to over $160,000 in proposed penalties for one Texas contractor.

According to a news release, in June 2022, two workers were in a trench when it collapsed. One of the workers at the McKinney, Texas, site was able to make it out, but the second was buried by the collapse.

The contractor, Bandera Utility Contractors Inc. allegedly did not have a trench protective system, used a broken ladder and did not ensure it was at the appropriate height and did not conduct pre-shift inspections, OSHA said. The contractor faces $165,952 in proposed penalties.

“Bandera Utility Contractor Inc. ignored federal safety requirements and sent these workers into an unprotected trench. Now, a worker’s family, friends and co-workers are left to grieve this tragic, and avoidable, loss,” said OSHA Area Director Basil Singh in Dallas, Texas. “Incidents like this are inexcusable and can be avoided by following well-established processes that comply with OSHA standards.”

From 2011 to 2018, more than 160 workers lost their lives to trench collapses, OSHA reported. In the first six months of 2022, 22 workers died from trenching and excavation-related incidents.

About the Author

Alex Saurman is a former Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety,who has since joined OH&S’s client services team. She continues to work closely with OH&S’s editorial team and contributes to the magazine.

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