A month after a 33-year-old worker died while working in an unprotected trench, OSHA inspectors found another employee of the same Missouri plumbing contractor working in a similarly unprotected trench at another job site. OSHA determined that, in both cases, the company failed to provide basic safeguards to prevent trench collapse and did not train its employees to recognize and avoid cave-in and other hazards. OSHA issued 14 safety violations found during both inspections, and proposed penalties totaling $714,142.
Trench collapses are among the most dangerous hazards in the construction industry.
Twenty-three deaths from trench and excavation operations were reported in 2016. In the first five months of 2017, at least 15 fatalities have been reported nationwide.
Gain knowledge, develop skills, and learn to recognize trench hazards by registering for Roco's Trench Rescue course. Our desire is for everyone to return home safely each day, and for this fatality number to not continue to increase.
Source: OSHA QuickTakes July 2017