Trench collapse investigation to take months

OSHA inspectors at the scene of a trench collapse in Cedar Hills, March 4, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
OSHA inspectors at the scene of a trench collapse in Cedar Hills, March 4, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

CEDAR HILLS, Ore. (KOIN) — OSHA inspectors said the investigation into the trench collapse that buried a 20-year-old man for four hours will be thorough and may take up to six months.

Danny Russu, 20, was working with two other men for Apollo Drain and Rooter Service on what they called a routine sewer line spot repair when the walls of their trench collapsed before 11 a.m. in the 12700 block of SW Bowmont Street.

It totally buried Russu at the bottom of the 12-foot hole.

Work resumed at the site where the collapse happened, but this time under the watchful eyes of OSHA inspectors.

Scott Bird, the owner of Apollo Drain and Rooter Service, told KOIN 6 News he welcomes the inspectors. He said he’s confident his crew followed proper safety procedures at the time of the collapse.

“In seeing the pictures, what I’ve seen this morning, we used the correct shoring,” he said. “OSHA requires shoring for the type of soil composition that we have and the hole was shored from top to bottom.”

The OSHA investigation will consist of inspecting the job site, interviewing employees and looking at the company’s safety training and procedures.

In two inspections last year, one serious violation was found, but was described as a rather routine and common violation: A grinder at the shop did not have a guard on it.

Russu is said to be doing well. KOIN 6 News was told he has some pain in his legs but he should be fine.

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