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Cave-in kills field service owner in Wyoming.

Wyoming Department of Health
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 94WY004, 1994 Mar; :1-3
A 30 year old male died from injuries suffered when the sides of a trench fell in on him while he was repairing a broken water main under a city street. The victim and a co-worker had brought a back-hoe to the address of a relative of the victim to dig a 10' deep trench at a buried water line. By mid-afternoon, they reached the water line and determined to weld the line break. The victim then rented a truck-mounted arc welder and began the operation. Due to the approaching darkness, the co-worker returned to the back-hoe to close the windows. When he returned, he saw that the trench had caved in. The co-worker called for help and jumped into the trench to attempt to uncover the victim. Rescuers arrived on the scene and extricated the victim from 1½ to 2' of wet dirt over a period of 25 to 35 minutes. The victim was transported by ambulance to a local clinic where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Employers may be able to minimize the potential for occurrence of this type of incident through the following precautions: 1. Trenching operations should provide cave-in protection, such as sloping, benching, or trench. 2. Regularly scheduled safety meetings should be provided to all employees of trenching operations. 3. Particularly when working in wet soil, a person inside a trench should be in the constant vision of a co-worker. 4. Safety precautions required for contracts with oil fields should also be used during less formal arrangements with individuals, governments, or small businesses.
Region-8; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Construction-industry; 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-94WY004; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-807083
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Wyoming Department of Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division