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GLAD YOU ASKED: Picture of trench sparks safety query

Q: I saw the picture in the paper recently of the workers in the trench on Minnesota Street near Havens Avenue. Shouldn't there have been a temporary retaining wall in the trench to protect the workers?

A: Terry Johnson, deputy director of Mitchell Public Works, said the project on Minnesota Street was completed by a private contractor, so the city was not responsible. But he said the contractor would be required to follow certain requirements per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Mitchell Plumbing completed the project and owner Greg Sheesley said protocol was followed. The trench was about 8 feet deep and was sloped on either side to prevent cave-ins. Workers also kept ladders at one end for entrance and exit, and the other end was sloped into a stepping system to allow for entrance and exit, he said.

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