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Agency investigates trench collapse


Work at Cedar Hills home resumes under OSHD supervision

The Oregon Occupational Health and Safety Division is investigating the collapse of a 12-foot trench around a broken sewer pipe that injured an employee of Gresham-based Apolllo Drain and Rooter Service on Monday morning.

Danny Russu, 21, was working with two other Apollo employees to repair a broken residential sewer line at 12715 S.W. Bowmont St. when the walls of their trench collapsed just before 11 a.m. Falling dirt, mud and debris buried Russu at the bottom of the 12-foot hole.

Work resumed at the repair site the next day, but this time under the watchful eyes of OSHD inspectors, reported KOIN-6 News, a Pamplin Media Group news partner, on Tuesday.

OSHD investigators will inspect the job site, interview employees and examine the company’s safety training and procedures.

In two inspections of Apollo in 2013, one violation was issued based on a shop grinder missing a safety guard, a problem investigators described as “routine and common.”

Scott Bird, owner of Apollo Drain and Rooter Service, told KOIN 6 he welcomes the inspectors and is confident his crew followed proper safety procedures at the time of the Monday morning 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.”

Russu’s medical condition was upgraded from serious to fair, a Legacy Emanuel Medical Center spokeswoman said on Wednesday afternoon.