Make us your home page

Company fined over ditch collapse in Clearwater

LARGO — Caladesi Construction Co. has been cited and fined by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration for safety violations that caused a cave-in at a construction site in Clearwater in August.

The Largo company was performing a storm drain maintenance project for the city of Clearwater on Aug. 14 near 1552 Jeffords St. when the walls of a trench collapsed.

It took three hours for rescue workers to lift a 57-year-old worker out of the hole, which had filled with mud. The rescue team battled severe heat throughout the effort, kept the victim on oxygen and continuously monitored his blood pressure. At the time, it was determined that the man did not receive any injuries during the cave-in.

OSHA's investigative report stated that although Caladesi had a "competent person'' to inspect work sites, that person "was not given the authority to make changes or stop work when trenching or excavation hazards were identified.''

OSHA also determined that Caladesi employees were exposed to "inadequately shored excavation walls because metal plates that were driven into the ground were not supported and had shifted in toward the work area.''

And finally, the agency determined that a dangerous situation had developed because a trench box had been broken apart without "... manufacturer or engineer approval and the side shields were being held in place by I-beams.''

Calling the violations "serious," OSHA proposed fines of $11,550. The fines were decreased to $6,930 after a settlement meeting.

Though the settlement was in October, the Times only recently obtained records in the case.

In an email, D. Wayne Wyatt, director of site development field operations for Caladesi Construction, wrote that "… assuring employee health, safety and welfare are of the utmost importance.''

Wyatt added that the inspection and subsequent citations led to a full review of company safety operations and that "advanced checks and balances are now in place."

Piper Castillo can be reached at or (727) 445-4163.

Company fined over ditch collapse in Clearwater 02/23/13 [Last modified: Friday, February 22, 2013 7:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally


    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Tampa Club president seeks assessment fee from members


    TAMPA — The president of the Tampa Club said he asked members last month to pay an additional assessment fee to provide "additional revenue." However, Ron Licata said Friday that the downtown business group is not in a dire financial situation.

    Ron Licata, president of the Tampa Club in downtown Tampa. [Tampa Club]
  3. Under Republican health care bill, Florida must make up $7.5 billion


    If a Senate bill called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 becomes law, Florida's government would need to make up about $7.5 billion to maintain its current health care system. The bill, which is one of the Republican Party's long-promised answers to the Affordable Care Act imposes a cap on funding per enrollee …

    Florida would need to cover $7.5 billion to keep its health care program under the Republican-proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.  [Times file photo]
  4. Amid U.S. real estate buying binge by foreign investors, Florida remains first choice

    Real Estate

    Foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate recently skyrocketed to a new high with nearly half of all foreign sales happening in Florida, California and Texas.

    A National Association of Realtors annual survey found record volume and activity by foreign buyers of U.S. real estate. Florida had the highest foreign investment activity, followed by California and Texas. [National Association of Realtors]
  5. Trigaux: Tampa Bay health care leaders wary of getting too far ahead in disruptive times


    Are attempts to repeal Obamacare dead for the foreseeable future? Might the Affordable Care Act (ACA), now in dire limbo, be revived? Will Medicaid coverage for the most in need be gutted? Can Republicans now in charge of the White House, Senate and House ever agree to deliver a substitute health care plan that people …

    Natalia Ricabal of Lutz, 12 years old, joined other pediatric cancer patients in Washington in July to urge Congress to protect Medicaid coverage that helped patients like Ricabal fight cancer. She was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma in 2013 and has undergone extensive treatments at BayCare's St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Tampa. [Courtesy of BayCare]