3 On Your Side Investigates: Are Water Main Repair Sites Safe fo - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

3 On Your Side Investigates: Are Water Main Repair Sites Safe for Workers in Jackson?

Viewers feared the city was violating OSHA standards when crews worked in holes without supports bolstering the sides to keep them from collapsing. Source: WLBT Viewers feared the city was violating OSHA standards when crews worked in holes without supports bolstering the sides to keep them from collapsing. Source: WLBT
Viewers feared the city was violating OSHA standards when crews worked in holes without supports bolstering the sides to keep them from collapsing. Source: WLBT Viewers feared the city was violating OSHA standards when crews worked in holes without supports bolstering the sides to keep them from collapsing. Source: WLBT
Viewers feared the city was violating OSHA standards when crews worked in holes without supports bolstering the sides to keep them from collapsing. Source: WLBT Viewers feared the city was violating OSHA standards when crews worked in holes without supports bolstering the sides to keep them from collapsing. Source: WLBT
Viewers feared the city was violating OSHA standards when crews worked in holes without supports bolstering the sides to keep them from collapsing. Source: WLBT Viewers feared the city was violating OSHA standards when crews worked in holes without supports bolstering the sides to keep them from collapsing. Source: WLBT
Viewers feared the city was violating OSHA standards when crews worked in holes without supports bolstering the sides to keep them from collapsing. Source: WLBT Viewers feared the city was violating OSHA standards when crews worked in holes without supports bolstering the sides to keep them from collapsing. Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

On February 25 and 26, 3 On Your Side's reports on water line maintenance brought calls flooding in to the station.

Viewers feared the city was violating OSHA standards when crews worked in holes without supports bolstering the sides to keep them from collapsing.

We looked into the potentially deadly lack of safety precautions.

The Public Works Director thanked 3 On Your Side viewers who brought these dangers to the news station's attention.

By doing so, they could be saving lives.

This all came about when this crew on Echelon Parkway did maintenance on a line they estimated was ten feet into the ground.

"In their haste to get this repair accomplished and move on to the next repair, they made an incorrect decision," explained Robert Miller, the City of Jackson's Public Works Director.

In a statement, Eric Lucero with the U.S. Department of Labor explained the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's standards for excavation sites.

"Trenches 5 feet (1.5 meters) deep or greater require a protective system unless the excavation is made entirely in stable rock. Trenches 20 feet (6.1 meters) deep or greater require that the protective system be de-signed by a registered professional engineer or be based on tabulated data prepared and/ or approved by a registered professional engineer."
  

However, OSHA does not regulate local government workers, so the City of Jackson isn't technically held to that standard.

"In our standards, if the excavation goes deeper than five feet, we need shoring equipment, or we need to slope the sides out one and a half to two feet for every foot of excavation," said Miller.

But it's nothing new for workers in Jackson rushing through their assignments, failing to set up proper safety precautions.

Back in January, our cameras spotted a work site where two city employees crowded into a hole that appeared to be more feet deep than it was wide.

A few days after that, a worker on Vine Street adjusted a line, digging a hole with unsupported sides higher than his head.

"I've talked to the manager of that department and directed him to get that reminder out to our workers. They did a magnificent job for us during our winter emergency. They know there's a backlog of work. They're trying to get on to the next job site. But there's always time to be safe," said Miller.

"If you see any more dangerous work sites like this, call WLBT at (601) 960-4426, email us at news@wlbt.com, or contact us via Facebook or Twitter.

Copyright 2018 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly