Archer Western Construction Inc. faces more than $33,000 in federal fines resulting from the collapse of a concrete trench barrier at a Miami jobsite that killed two workers.
The collapse occurred in the early morning hours of Feb. 4 as workers were removing storm drainage pipes in the median of the Interstate 95 Express Lanes. First responders declared the two workers dead at the scene, according to published reports.
Inspectors from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined that the concrete barrier was not shored, braced or underpinned. OSHA also cited the contractor for allowing employees to perform trenching work in an area that was not inspected for hazards, according to an agency statement. Both violations carry the maximum federal fine of $12,934 each. A third OSHA citation faults Archer Western for not providing training that would have enabled workers "to recognize and avoid the hazards associated with trenching" before beginning work.
Per OSHA policy, Archer Western has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to either comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before an independent review commission. The contractor has not commented on OSHA's findings or penalties.