Construction company cited for violations following death at Albemarle site

The construction company in charge of a site in Albemarle where a worker died has been cited for labor law violations by the North Carolina Department of Labor.

According to a report obtained by The Stanly News & Press, Brindle Site Services of Midland was issued a citation with multiple charges regarding the incident.

Joshua Brindle was killed July 5, 2022 in a collapsed trench at a housing development near the intersection of N.C. Highway 73 and Hatley Farm Road.

One alleged willful serious citation listed dealt with employees “not being protected from cave-ins by an adequate protective system.” Employees were working “in an unprotected trench that measured 8.5 feet deep by approximately 5 feet wide with vertical side walls.” The penalty for this citation is $43,506.

Other alleged serious violations included employees not receiving “training in the recognition and avoidance of hazards such as engulfment, asphyxiation, or struck by debris.” The fine for this citation is $4,350.60.

Not keeping excavated materials two feet from the edge of excavations or the use of retaining devices was listed as an alleged serious violation with a $14,502 fine.

The final citation with a $4,350.60 fine was allegedly for not having completed daily inspections of excavations.

Fines total $66,709.20 for the civil penalties; however, the maximum penalty for the willful serious violation is $145,027, and $14,502 for each serious violation.

“The penalties are in no way designed to make up for loss of life,” said Erin Wilson, director of communications for the North Carolina Department of Labor. “By law, the civil money penalties collected by the N.C. Department of Labor are not the receipts of the department, but rather must be remitted to the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund, which then distributes the monies to the public school system.”

The company has 15 days to respond to the allegations.