OSHA: Contractor failed to inspect trench that collapsed & killed Huntsville man

Huntsville

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Occupational Health and Safety Administration is proposing a fine for a contractor who failed to properly inspect a trench along Jeff Road that collapsed in January.

The collapse killed Huntsville resident Armando Aviles.

OSHA said Weaver Enviromental Services, Inc. (WESCO) exposed workers to cave-in hazards by failing to properly inspect open trenches and failing to use a shielding system on site.

In addition, OSHA said the company failed to protect workers from being struck by equipment or objects while working under a concrete curb.

Birmingham Area OSHA Office Director Ramona Morris said failing to properly use safety equipment “turned a preventable hazard into a fatal result.”

“Trenching and excavation is among the most dangerous work in the construction industry. The failure to use required safety equipment and follow procedures in this case turned a preventable hazard into a fatal result. We hope other industry employers comply with the law and take appropriate actions to avoid similar tragedies.”

Birmingham Area OSHA Office Director Ramona Morris

OSHA cited WECSO with one willful violation for exposing workers to cave-in hazards and two serious violations of failing to inspect the concrete curb for proper support while workers were underneath.

OSHA is proposing a $110,590 fine for the violations.

News 19 has reached out to WESCO for a statement on the citations and possible fine.

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