Company Fined $31,446 Following Fatal Windsor Trench Accident
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined the company responsible for the trench collapse that killed two people in Windsor, according to The Coloradoan.
The accident occurred six months ago (April 16) when Christopher Lee Ramirez, 26, and Jorge Baez Valadez, 41, were installing a sewer line at a development in Windshire near northwest Windsor.
The two men were standing in a trench that was around 31 feet long, 5 feet wide, and 14 feet deep. The trench walls were practically vertical and did not have any of the shoring or sloping required to protect the workers.
The trench then collapsed, burying Ramirez and Valadez alive. Once emergency crews arrived, they spent the next seven hours attempting to dig the two men out, but the trench continued to cave in.
Unfortunately, after an agonizing recovery attempt, responders were unable to save either of the men. They were able to communicate with one of the men for a few hours via a PVC pipe, and he was able to speak to his family before more of the trench collapsed.
As a result of the incident, OSHA fined the responsible company, Backhoe Excavating of Firestone, $31,446 for a total of five citations.
These citations include failure to provide an adequate protective system for the two workers and failure to adhere to specific excavation requirements.
The company has 15 days to either appeal or to pay the fines.