The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Industrial Power Systems, a Toledo contractor, for safety violations after several of their workers were exposed to cave-in hazards.
Cave-ins during excavation can crush or engulf a worker quickly, before anyone outside of the trench has time to respond. To minimize the risk, OSHA requires cave-in protections for any trench deeper than five feet.
On August 6, two employees were installing steam and chill water piping for a new recreation center on the University of Toledo campus. An OSHA compliance officer observed two men working in a trench for more than 6 hours without proper cave-in protections.
Management at the job site also failed to ensure that workers in the trench had an emergency escape route, like ladders or stairs. These violations, one serious and one willful, carry proposed fines of up to $75,000.
Emergency exits, like ladders and stairs, can save lives during a cave-in. Without the proper protections, Industrial Power Systems put its workers at risk for falls, asphyxiation and crushing injuries.
It is never safe to work in an unprotected trench. If management is forcing you to work without the proper protections, they are violating your rights. You may need legal help to claim the protections and compensation you deserve.
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