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Preventing worker deaths from trench cave-ins (superseded by 2011-208).

Authors
NIOSH
Source
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2011-180, 2011 Jun; :1-4
NIOSHTIC No.
20038891
Abstract
Workers are at risk of death from cave-ins during trenching and excavation activities. NIOSH recommends engineering controls, protective equipment, and safe work practices to minimize hazards for workers. Workers who dig or excavate trenches are at risk of death if they enter an unprotected trench and the walls collapse. However, hazards associated with trench work and excavation are well defined and preventable. The OSHA standard for excavation and trenching, known as 29 CFR* 1926 Subpart P, describes the precautions needed for safe excavation work. There is no reliable warning when a trench fails. The walls can collapse suddenly, and workers will not have time to move out of the way. Even though small amounts of dirt may not seem treacherous, a single cubic yard of dirt can weigh more than 3,000 pounds, which can fatally crush or suffocate workers [Deatherage et al. 2004]. Even small, solid pieces of dirt can cause serious injuries. From 2000-2009, 350 workers died in trenching or excavation cave-ins - an average of 35 fatalities per year [BLS 2010].
Keywords
Construction; Construction-workers; Excavation-equipment; Ground-control; Ground-stability; Mortality-data; Mortality-rates; Regulations; Engineering-controls; Environmental-control-equipment; Personal-protective-equipment; Work-practices; Work-environment; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Injury-prevention; Occupational-hazards; Industrial-engineering; Industrial-hazards; Case-studies
Publication Date
20110601
Document Type
Numbered Publication; Workplace Solutions
Fiscal Year
2011
NTIS Accession No.
PB2011-110823
NTIS Price
A01
Identifying No.
(NIOSH) 2011-180
NIOSH Division
EID
Priority Area
Construction
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
State
OH
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