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Construction company cited by Cal/OSHA for fatal San Francisco trench collapse

San Francisco utility worker dies in trench collapse by KPIX | CBS NEWS BAY AREA on YouTube

SAN FRANCISCO -- A construction company whose employee died when the trench he was working in collapsed in San Francisco last year has been cited by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health for safety violations.

D'Arcy & Harty Construction Inc. committed "willful-serious" violations that led to the worker's death on Sept. 28, 2023 and has been fined $371,000, Cal/OSHA officials announced Thursday.

The company was fined for "failing to provide a protective system for employees working in the trench and for failing to provide a means of escape such as a ladder in case of collapse -- hazards the employer had been warned about weeks before," according to Cal/OSHA.

"Excavations are known hazards and trenches must be evaluated, shored or shielded before workers enter to protect them. This worker's death is tragic because it was avoidable," said acting CAL/OSHA Chief Debra Lee.

The 25-year-old man who died was identified as Javier Romero from Alameda County.

Romero became trapped under 8 feet of dirt when the trench collapsed in the area of Oak and Divisadero streets.

He was working on part of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission's Panhandle and Inner Sunset Large Sewer Rehabilitation Project to upgrade existing sewer mains and sewer laterals in the area, SFPUC officials said at the time.

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