Nearly $1.5M in fines for 2 worker deaths in unprotected 12-foot deep trench

Imagine this: You’re working in an unprotected trench when, not only does it collapse but a nearby fire hydrant instantly floods the excavation with water. Two men met their deaths in Boston that way, and now their employer faces a seven-figure fine.

OSHA has fined Atlantic Drain Service Co. Inc. $1,475,813 for 18 willful, repeat, serious and other-than-serious violations.

On Oct. 21, 2016, Robert Higgins, 47, and Kelvin Mattocks, 53, were part of a crew excavating a trench in Boston. When soil gave way in the trench, a nearby fire hydrant collapsed into the hole, quickly filling it with water. The water mixed with the clay-like soil, trapping Higgins and Mattocks within seconds below the rising water, killing them.

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