In California, trenches may be dug for various phases in a construction job, such as laying cables or pipes. As with many jobs that have inherent dangers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has outlined careful guidelines for preventing accidents on construction jobs. Nevertheless, each year construction workers' accidents involving trench collapses lead to fatalities. Unfortunately, OSHA now has the grim task of investigating a recent trench collapse which took the life of a worker.
In another state, some members of a small community watched in horror as a construction worker died before their eyes. The man was employed by a local pump service which was working at a private residence around 10 a.m. He was in a trench that had been dug to replace a line for water or sewer when the walls gave way. Dirt filled the ditch, trapping the man up to his neck.
Emergency crews responded to the scene and gave the man oxygen while they attempted to free him from the tons of dirt. For two hours, rescuers worked to save the man. He appeared to be conscious and talking with emergency responders, but they were not able to get him out of the trench before he succumbed. As it does with any workplace accident in California or elsewhere, OSHA will investigate the accident to determine if any safety violations may have contributed to the untimely collapse of the trench walls.
Meanwhile the employee's family is left to cope with their loss. In addition to the shock of this man's death, the family should not have to deal with the uncertainty of receiving the appropriate workers' compensation benefits people are due following construction workers' accidents. A dedicated attorney will defend their rights and allow them to focus on coming to terms with their tragic loss.
Source: winchesterstar.com, "Worker killed when trench collapses on him in Clarke", Christopher Earley, Sept. 21, 2016