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Company Fined for 3 Violations, Including Trench Collapse That Killed Worker

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A trench collapse in Altoona trapped one man Wednesday morning. (WHO-HD)

A trench collapse in Altoona trapped one man Wednesday morning. (WHO-HD)

ST. CHARLES, Iowa — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined the company that lost a worker in an Altoona trench collapse on Jan. 6.

Justin Jorgensen, 30, was installing sewer pipes in a 12-foot trench when the walls gave way. OSHA regulations require there to be a trench wall in areas more than 5 feet deep.

The trench Jorgensen was working in did not have a trench wall, authorities said, and he was killed. It was his son’s fourth birthday.

Jorgensen was employed by JRS Excavating, located in St. Charles, where family friends say he worked with his brother.

OSHA cited the company last month on three issues.

The first violation was that employees were not wearing protective helmets. OSHA reports Jorgensen received a fatal injury in the collapse.

The second violation was for not inspecting the site daily by a competent person. The third violation was for not having a cave-in protective system in place, which could have prevented the collapse.

The three violations total $4,500 in fines.