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Truck driver dies in excavation cave-in during diesel tank removal.

Michigan State University
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 01MI022, 2001 Oct; :1-5
On April 17, 2001 a 43-year old male died from injuries sustained from a trench cave-in during the removal of a 6,000-gallon diesel storage tank. During the removal of dirt around the tank, the excavator began to come close to a water line around the tank. To assist the excavator, the victim went into the trench and began to remove shovel loads of dirt from around the water line. The excavator had just finished excavating a load of dirt and was turning to the right to unload the dirt from the bucket into the spoil area. Without warning, the side of the excavation wall collapsed, pushing the victim against the diesel tank. 911 was called and emergency personnel arrived. Emergency personnel removed the victim from the excavation hole. The victim was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, and then air-lifted to a regional hospital where he died. Recommendations: 1. Employers should ensure that employees working in excavations are protected from cave-in by an adequate protection system such as shoring, sloping or excavation box designed in accordance with MIOSHA Construction Safety Standard, Part 9, Excavation, Trenching, and Shoring, R408.40941. 2. Employers should ensure that excavations are inspected by a competent person prior to start of work and as needed throughout a shift to look for evidence of any situation that could result in possible cave-in. 3. Employers should design, develop and implement a comprehensive safety training program. This program should include training workers to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions, and required safe work practices that apply to their work environments.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Region-5; Work-practices; Training; Work-analysis; Work-environment; Work-operations; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-safety-programs; Excavation-equipment; Construction; Construction-equipment; Construction-workers
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-01MI022; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-521205
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Michigan State University
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division