NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Worker dies in trench collapse.

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 05MI084, 2006 Jun; :1-9
On Friday, August 19, 2005, at approximately 12:00 p.m., a 24-year-old worker died when he was buried under a wall of the trench he was working in. The excavation wall and part of the sidewalk next to the concrete garage floor collapsed onto him while he was attempting to attach the new PVC pipe he and his coworkers had installed that morning to the main sewer in the alley. One of the decedent's coworkers was also caught in the collapse. Two other workers on-site, neighbors who heard their calls for help, and firefighters who arrived on the scene were able to extricate the decedent's coworker (the company owner) from the excavation. He was transported to a hospital and recovered. The decedent's body was recovered from the excavation approximately 8 hours after the wall collapsed. Recommendations: 1. Employers and self-employed contractors should slope or shore or use trench boxes in all excavations greater than 5 feet deep. 2. Employers and self-employed contractors 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 and self-employed contractors should design, develop, and implement a comprehensive safety program that includes training in hazard recognition and avoiding unsafe conditions. 4. Emergency medical services and fire-rescue personnel should be knowledgeable about proper rescue techniques involving excavation sites and ensure that adequate shoring equipment is on hand at all times.
Region-5; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Work-practices; Training; Work-areas; Work-operations; Work-performance; Safety-programs; Construction; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Confined-spaces
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-05MI084; 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