Pennsylvania residents may be interested to learn about a landscaping company in New Jersey that was recently cited for serious and willful safety violations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration flagged Bednar Landscape Services Inc. for one willful safety violation and nine serious safety violations after two workers were killed in a workplace accident that involved an unprotected trench.
According to an OSHA spokesman, just one cubic yard of soil can present a hazard. To protect trench workers from being crushed in a potential cave-in, OSHA requires employers to use protections like trench walls, trench boxes and sloping when workers are digging at least five feet below ground level. However, the landscaping company in New Jersey failed to use any trench protections while their employees were working in a trench that was up to 13 feet deep in some places.
The company’s failure to use trench protections resulted in the citation for a willful safety violation. The citations for serious safety violations were issued due to the company’s failure to provide workers with an exit ladder, head protection and adequate training. The company was also cited for not having the trench inspected by a person who was qualified to do so.
A worker who has been injured during a trench cave-in or another workplace accident may claim monetary compensation for their injuries through workers’ compensation insurance. An attorney may be able to help a worker with this process by gathering evidence about the accident and the extent of the worker’s injuries.
Source: EHS Today, “OSHA: Lack of Cave-In Protections Led to Trench Collapse,” Sandy Smith, April 10, 2015