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A plumber died when the trench he was working in collapsed around him.

Public Health Institute
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 05CA002, 2006 Jul; :1-5
A 35-year-old male plumber died when the trench he was working in caved-in around him. The victim was in the trench connecting a residential sewer line to a sewer main when the incident occurred. The trench was seven-feet deep and was not shored, benched, or sloped. The area where the trench was located had been dug up before by other utilities. The soil that was removed from the trench was placed next to the edge of the trench. The company had shoring, but it was not available at the job site. The victim was hired two days before the incident occurred and had not yet been to the company's orientation and safety training. The CA/FACE investigator determined that in order to prevent future occurrences, employers, as part of their Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) should: 1. Ensure employees do not enter trenches deeper than five feet without the benefit of shoring, benching, or sloping. 2. Ensure that backhoe operators place the excavated soil from trenches a minimum of 2 feet away from the edge of a trench. 3. Ensure employees receive safety training and their achievement of skills is verified through a testing program before they are assigned hazardous work.
Region-9; 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-workers; Construction-industry
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-05CA002; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-907284; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008468
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Public Health Institute
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division