Stock file photo

Employer in fatal trench collapse paid $5,800 fine in 2014

JK Excavating & Utilities of Mason was cited on July 16, 2014, for trenching hazards at a job site at 3152 Shadowcreek Ct. in Hamilton in Butler County, according to OSHA records. 

MORE: More than 150 people worked to save man who died in Warren County trench

The case was settled and the company paid a fine of $5,850, according to OSHA. 

Today OSHA confirmed investigators are talking with representatives from JK, employer of 25-year-old Zachary Hess, who died Thursday after a trench collapse in Warren County. 

FIRST REPORT: Warren County man, 25, killed in trench collapse

Hess died Thursday after being buried in a trench at a work site at 5506 Anna Marie Dr. in Salem Twp., Warren County. 

The employer, JK Excavating of Mason, did not immediately return calls requesting comment.

The citations in the 2014 case stem from an inspection at 3152 Shadowcreek Ct. in Hamilton on July 16 that year, according to OSHA records. The citations were issued on Aug. 20, 2014. 

The citations were listed as serious and were corrected during the inspection. 

One stemmed from observation of an employee working in a 7-foot trench with no ladder or “suitable means of access/egress” within 25 feet of the work area. The proposed penalty was $3,500. 

The second citation said an employee was working “in the bottom of an open excavation” area 7-feet deep “while being exposed to materials and equipment falling into the excavation on top of them, posing a crushing/struck-by hazard.” It carried a proposed penalty of $4,900. 

The third citation said, “The walls of the excavation were not properly sloped, shored, benched or otherwise adequately protected against collapse.”

The proposed penalty for that was $4,900. 

The case was settled at $5,850 on Aug. 27, 2014.

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