US Dept of Labor

Occupational Safety & Health AdministrationWe Can Help

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents
Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.
Trade News Release Banner Image

Region 5 News Release:    06-781-CHI
June 6, 2006
Contact: Brad Mitchell
Phone: 312-353-6976

Sandusky, Ohio, Excavation Contractor Fined $251,250 for Unprotected Trench Work at Fremont Water Main Project

TOLEDO, Ohio -- Following inspections at excavation worksites in Fremont, Ohio, the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $251,250 in fines against Speer Bros. Inc., Sandusky, Ohio, for alleged willful and serious violations of safety standards.

OSHA opened an inspection in December 2005 following receipt of information that employees were working in unprotected trenches, some as deep as 13 feet, during construction of the City of Fremont Water Main Improvement Project.

The investigation resulted in citations for five willful violations of federal workplace safety regulations, including the failure to provide access and egress from deep trenches, failing to protect workers from cave-ins while inside those trenches, failing to protect against water accumulation inside the trenches and failing to remove employees from hazardous areas after having been advised of hazardous conditions that could result in cave-ins.

"Any one of these violations has the potential to kill the workers inside those trenches," said OSHA Area Director Jule Hovi, Toledo. "Trenching remains one of the most hazardous jobs in construction if proper safety procedures are not followed. When employers shirk their responsibility to keep the workplace safe, the results can be tragic for workers and their families."

Speer Bros. Inc. has an inspection history involving trenching violations dating back to 1992, including willful citations issued in December 2005. The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to appeal before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit


U.S. Labor Department (DOL) releases are accessible on the Internet at The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit
Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

Thank You for Visiting Our Website

You are exiting the Department of Labor's Web server.

The Department of Labor does not endorse, takes no responsibility for, and exercises no control over the linked organization or its views, or contents, nor does it vouch for the accuracy or accessibility of the information contained on the destination server. The Department of Labor also cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked Web sites. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked Web site. Thank you for visiting our site. Please click the button below to continue.