OSHA hits Georgia-based company with $300,000 fine after fatal trench collapse

(UI) — A Georgia-based company faces a hefty fine exceeding $300,000 from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) due to alleged safety breaches stemming from a trench collapse incident that resulted in the death of a worker in Macon, 13WMAZ reported.

The incident unfolded on Aug. 10 on Massee Lane in Perry, where two employees were in the process of installing sewer lines when the trench, measuring 21 feet in depth, caved in. Authorities discovered 20-year-old Caleb Smith submerged in water and buried under soil, resulting in his death. Another worker sustained severe injuries to the shoulder, pelvis, and leg.

OSHA's investigation revealed that Pyles Plumbing and Utility Contractors had inadequately trained its workers and neglected to provide proper safety gear and equipment. The agency cited the company for three "serious" violations, carrying proposed fines totaling $33,876, along with two "willful" violations, warranting fines amounting to $274,249.

This $308,000 penalty marks one of the most substantial fines imposed by OSHA in the state within the past year, as per online OSHA records.

In response to the allegations, Byron Pyles, the owner of Pyles Plumbing and Utility Contractors, told 13WMAZ over the phone that the company contests the findings, has enlisted legal representation, and intends to file an appeal. He opted not to provide further commentary at this time.

This story was originally published by 13WMAZ.

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