Water and sewer contractor DiMeo Brothers Inc. was cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) after employees were observed working in a trench without cave-in protection.
Headquartered in Elk Grove Village, DiMeo had been hired to alleviate flooding near the former Glenview Naval Air Station. During an April inspection, OSHA discovered workers in a 25-foot trench with no cave-in protection, which could lead to crushing injuries or suffocation.
OSHA regulations make cave-in hazards mandatory for any ditch deeper than five feet. Some of the trenches at the work site had protection placed eight feet from the bottom of the trench, but that was not enough to protect workers.
Is Working in a Trench Dangerous?
Workers could be engulfed, crushed or asphyxiated during a cave-in. More than 40 workers die every year in unsupported trenches and countless more are injured.
“Trench collapses can occur suddenly, and it is only a matter of minutes before a worker becomes trapped,” said OSHA’s area director for Chicago North. “Violations of trenching standards result in numerous fatalities and injuries every year, and no employee should become a statistic.”
Every employer has a responsibility to make sure its workers are safe. When employers neglect that responsibility, they expose workers to serious danger and themselves to liability.
If a reckless employer caused your injuries, schedule a free consultation with Larrimer & Larrimer to learn more about your legal options. For more information about workers comp, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC—Columbus Workers Comp Attorneys