OSHA cites company in deadly Mentor trench collapse

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MENTOR, Ohio– The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited a man’s employer after he died in a trench collapse earlier this year.

Alex Marcotte, 28, of Chardon, was working on widening a road on Station Street in Mentor on March 29 when the trench collapsed. He was trapped under thousands of pounds of soil and died from his injuries at a hospital, OSHA said.

Aqua Ohio Inc. failed to train workers on trench hazards, did not provide cave-in protection, failed to protect workers for excavating material failing into the trench and did not have a competent person make inspections, OSHA determined.

“This young man’s death was preventable. It is unacceptable that Aqua Ohio again risked the lives of its employees in an unprotected trench,” said Howard Eberts, OSHA’s area director in Cleveland, in a news release on Tuesday. “The company knows cave-in protection is required in a trench more than 5-feet deep, but their failure to comply cost a man his life.”

OSHA is seeking $44,800 in penalties from the company. (You can read the citations here.)

Aqua Ohio was cited for similar violations at a job site in Ashtabula in 2013.

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