The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined Crosby Excavating $14,400 in the deaths of three workers in Columbia City last year.

IOSHA fined the Fort Wayne company $6,000 for the workers not having protective helmets, $4,200 for workers not having training about the hazards in the worksite and another $4,200 because “the employer’s competent person failed to identify all confined spaces in which its employees are working and did not identify each space.” It did not levy a penalty for a violation of failing to implement measures necessary to prevent unauthorized entry.

On the morning of Aug. 25 at 499 S. Main St., Columbia City, Bronson Ball, 21, was working with a crew on a sewer project, went down into a manhole and became unresponsive.

His father, Jason Ball, 48, and later a supervisor, Douglas Kramer, 43, both went down into the manhole, but none of the men returned, as oxygen levels below the surface were not compatible with life.

The 20-foot-deep manhole had about 5 feet of water inside.

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