Mother of man killed in trench collapse says OSHA report shouldn't be end of investigation

Mother of man killed in trench collapse says OSHA report shouldn't be end of investigation (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A local company is facing steep fines after safety violations were discovered in a trench collapse that killed a construction worker.

Zach Hess' employer, JK Excavating, are not commenting on the OSHA report that hit the company with citations and fines.

While the company is quiet, the victim's mother is not. Hess’s mother is speaking out for trench safety and prosecution for those who don't ensure the safety of their workers.


Cindy Hess says the OSHA report which cited JK Excavating for several safety violations should not be the end of the investigation into her son's death.

Last December, Zachary Hess was killed when the trench he was working in collapsed around him.

The OSHA report finds the company was willful in failing to provide adequate cave-in protection. There were also several other violations which were termed serious.

Just prior to the trench collapse, Zach Hess videotaped the trench he was working in. His mother has spent the past few months researching. She says the sewer tap was much deeper than the foundation of the home being built.

Crews worked hours trying to free Hess, but to no avail. The rescue became a recovery.

Cindy Hess doesn't want her son to be a statistic. She wants to see legislation that would result in criminal charges for work accidents such as the one that claimed her son's life.

Cindy Hess says much like Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), she wants to hold those who don't ensure construction workers safety accountable.

A short time ago, she says she received an email from the Warren County Prosecutor who says the OSHA report will mark the beginning of his investigation into the accident.

The company was fined more than $200,000.

JK Excavating was also fined four years ago for at least one similar violation.

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