Dayton-based plumbing contractor cited over $145K for deadly trench collapse

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OSHA investigating deadly trench collapse

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A Dayton-based plumbing contractor is facing penalties in excess of $145,000 for exposing employees to multiple hazards following a trench collapse that killed a worker.

READ MORE: OSHA investigating deadly trench collapse

The employee was killed in a trench collapse at a residential construction site in Bellbrook. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Payne Enterprises Inc. in the amount of $145,860 for two repeated violations of not having a proper inspector look at the trench before allowing workers to enter, and for failing to install an adequate protective system to prevent the trench collapse.

The company was cited for similar violations in 2017 and 2018, and has now been placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

READ MORE: 911 caller discusses deadly trench collapse

“Tragedies such as this are preventable when employers comply with safety standards that exist to protect workers from trenching hazards,” said OSHA Area Director Ken Montgomery, in Cincinnati. “OSHA regulations require employers to slope, shore, or shield trench walls to prevent cave-ins.”

The company has 15 days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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