- Associated Press - Thursday, November 3, 2016

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - An Idaho construction company is appealing findings that it failed to properly train and protect its employees.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that a lack of training by Hard Rock Construction was a factor in the deaths of two Boise workers, reported The Idaho Statesman (http://bit.ly/2e5Fq16). Bert Smith Jr. of Caldwell and Ernesto Saucedo of Nampa were killed when the 9- to 11-foot deep trench they were working in collapsed on May 3.

A third worker was injured but survived. According to local OSHA head Dave Kearns, the third worker is probably permanently disabled.

Kearns said he hopes the matter can be negotiated and won’t end up before a judge.

“It would be nice if it gets resolved soon, for everybody involved,” Kearns said. “We feel fairly strongly, and hopefully through this process they’ll start to understand our position, and we may be able to convince them of the strength of our position, but they may be able to convince us of other things as well, too. So it’s just a negotiation process.”

OSHA has issued $77,319 in fines against Hard Rock.

The company didn’t return a call from The Associated Press on Thursday.

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Information from: Idaho Statesman, http://www.idahostatesman.com

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