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Construction Accident in Hudson, Ohio Kills Worker, Prompts OSHA Citations

Poland, Ohio excavation company A. Bagnoli and Sons has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in response to a construction accident that proved fatal. The deadly construction accident was caused by a trench cave-in at a Hudson, Ohio construction site.

A 56 year Hudson man and construction worker was killed when a wall of earth crumbled rapidly and consumed him. Bagnoli, the man's employer faces four separate violations which include failure to provide proper cave-in protection as well as creating an environment where employees could work underneath loads listed by digging equipment. OSHA has given Bagnoli 30 days to appeal the citations.

Fatal trench cave-ins at construction sites are potentially caused by several factors. Soil stability is dependent on the geological history of the region and can easily be affected by changes in weather. Spring, for example, is a particularly vulnerable time for trench cave-ins at construction sites. Also, excavation exposes damp compacted soil to air. When the exposed soil dries out, it loses some ability to maintain shape and stability, increasing the likelihood for the trench to collapse. Proximity of the excavation site to other construction such as highways, backfilled areas, or existing buildings can play a factor in trench cave-ins as well.

OSHA requires construction companies to take one or more of the following measures when excavating trenches:

  • Shield workers with a trench box system in case of wall collapse
  • Sloping of trench walls to reduce pressure on the excavated walls
  • Excavation walls reinforced by timber or other sturdy building materials or engineered equivalent bracing to prevent collapse

Source: WFMJ.com "OSHA cites Poland company in deadly construction accident" 10/5/10

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