The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited All Power Construction Corp. and its staffing provider, Labor Finders of Tennessee Inc., after a temporary employee installing sewer lines suffered a fatal injury in a trench collapse.

OSHA issued willful and serious citations to All Power Construction Corp. for allowing employees to work in a trench without cave-in protection, failing to provide a safe means to enter and exit the trench, and not having a competent person inspect the trench to identify potential hazards. OSHA cited the staffing agency for one serious violation for not ensuring that employees were trained on trenching and excavation hazards.

All Power faces $139,684 in proposed penalties and Labor Finders faces the maximum allowed $12,934 in proposed penalties.

The investigation was part of OSHA’s National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation.

“Employers are responsible for ensuring their worksites are free of recognized hazards,” said Ramona Morris, director of the OSHA Birmingham area office. “This tragedy could have been prevented had the employer followed the necessary steps to ensure that protective systems were used.”

The companies have 15 business days from receipt of their citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings.