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This website is maintained by the Law Offices of Dean Malone, P.C., a Dallas, Texas law firm representing people across Texas for work injury cases. We have attempted to provide useful information for those harmed by work injuries.

After 2 Workers Die, Company is Fined Almost $1.5 million and a Businessman is Charged with Manslaughter

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017
53°04′37.27″N 8°48′52.18″E / ...

53°04′37.27″N 8°48′52.18″E / °S °W / ; latd>90 (dms format) in latd latm lats longm longs thumb|The Zigzag trench around Bremen city Bremen City in Germany like many others is surrounded by a water trench. This trench is almost the same is size as the same original hundreds of years a go. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) visits the sites of fatal workplace accidents and issues citations and proposed penalties. Rarely do the penalties add up to a million dollars or more. In regard to the death of two workers who were killed in a trench collapse in Boston, Massachusetts, however, the safety fines add up to almost $1.5 million. In addition, the owner faces two manslaughter charges as well as other criminal charges, in connection with the workers’ deaths and safety issues on the job.

On October 21, 2016, 47-year-old Robert Higgins and 53-year-old Kelvin Mattocks were working in a 12-foot-deep trench. They were installing new service to a house that was being remodeled. The trench flooded within seconds after the supply line to an unsupported fire hydrant broke. Mattocks and Higgins were first exposed to the flood and then the collapse of the trench.

The man who was overseeing the work on that tragic day is the one who has been charged with manslaughter.

The New England regional administrator for OSHA, Galen Blanton, said the employer in this case had previously been cited for the same hazardous conditions that existed when the men were killed. Blanton said the employer was aware that safeguards were necessary to protect workers, but the responsibility was blatantly ignored.

The trench in which the workers died was supposed to be supported by sloped walls, shoring, or a trench box. Allegedly, none of the safety steps were taken; and there are now 40 pages of OSHA citations detailing the many alleged safety violations that were found.

Learn more about the citations in this case, all of which employers in Texas are responsible to become familiar with, in order to prevent similar hazardous situations.

–Guest Contributor

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