POUGHKEEPSIE – DAKA Plumbing and Heating, the company that last week was digging a trench that collapsed trapping two workers, has been issued a “stop work” order by Poughkeepsie city officials. The Dwight Avenue address where the work was being performed is operated as a group home by New Horizons Resources.
On Wednesday, the city allowed Zammiello Construction to come in and shore up the trench that was created by DAKA. The original trench was approximately 12-feet deep, with no shoring and mounds of dirt piled on both shoulders of the trench when it collapsed, trapping two laborers up to their waists in the hole. Emergency responders worked for more than two hours to free the men.
Zammiello arrived on the site with both a full-size excavator and a smaller one and began moving the clay-based soil away from the trench while also taking additional safety measures. Owner Kevin Zammiello said “Safety is our number one priority on any jobsite. When you cut corners, people get hurt.” He added, “Our first order of business is to remove the loose dirt away from the edge of the trench while also adding barricades around the trench to prevent people from falling in. Those efforts should have been addressed by the previous excavator operator, but were not.”
The small excavator that had been used by DAKA Plumbing and Heating of Poughquag is still sitting on the site, in the same spot it has been since the collapse late last week. Calls to the company have not been returned.
According to the plumbing contractor that is handling the job, the original problem was a clogged sewer line just inside of the house that could have been taken care of without this enormous trench being created, but the property owner chose to have the work performed from outside of the residence.