Gretna company cited by OSHA for trench collapse in Lincoln

By  | 

LINCOLN, Neb. -- A Gretna-based company has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for a November trench collapse in Lincoln that left two employees with serious injuries.

According to a release by OSHA, T.H. Construction Co. has been penalized $106,078 for the incident, which took place near NW 56th & Aurora streets.

According to the release, two employees suffered injuries when a portion of the trench wall caved in as they repaired fiber optic cable.

OSHA cited the company for "failing to use protective systems to prevent a collapse."

“Compliance with trenching and excavation regulations is not optional,” said OSHA Omaha Area Office Director Jeff Funke. “Employers are legally required to use appropriate protective systems to ensure that workers are not injured.”

Lincoln Fire and Rescue responded to reports of one victim trapped in loose dirt up to his waist after the trench collapsed last Winter.

When LFR got on scene, firefighters saw workers trying to rescue the trapped victim from the trench, which was 10.5 feet deep. Another worker then fell in, getting trapped along with the first victim.

LFR was able to rescue the second victim fairly quickly, but the first victim remained trapped for about an hour and a half after initially falling in.