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Trench Collapse Injures Arkansas Employee Image: Thinkstock

Trench Collapse Injures Arkansas Employee

OSHA cited the company for one willful, seven serious and one other-than-serious violations.

A drainpipe installer of Boyles Construction Inc. in Little Rock, Ark., broke a number of his bones when a trench he was working in collapsed.

OSHA cited the company on Oct. 14 for one willful, seven serious and one other-than-serious violations and proposed fees of $47,600.

"A trench collapse can happen in a matter of seconds and can take a life just as quickly," said Carlos Reynolds, OSHA's area office director in Little Rock.

"Fortunately, this collapse wasn't fatal, but there were still serious physical and financial consequences for the worker who was injured in the collapse. He needlessly suffered a number of broken bones because the company chose not to follow industry standard measures to prevent the collapse. OSHA will not tolerate such negligence."

After its investigation, OSHA cited the company for not protecting workers from cave-ins while working on a 7- to 8-foot-deep trench; not providing protective helmets; not providing a safe means to exit the trench; not keeping excavation material at least two feet from the edge of the excavation; not creating slopes or steps along the sides of the trench to prevent a collapse; and not posting an annual summary of work-related injuries and illnesses for 2015.

OSHA investigated the company after Boyles Construction reported that a trench collapse had injured a worker who was installing a drainpipe.

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