A Missouri worker died late last month after a trench collapse. Emergency personnel were called in after the worker was buried in the collapse.
The worker was one of two men attempting to connect a sanitary sewer to a home. This individual was in a 75-foot long trench at the time the earth shifted. It took emergency crews more than 24 hours to finally recover the body. Recovery was made more difficult because additional shoring was needed to stabilize the recovery site.
Occupational Safety & Health Administration officials began an investigation of this matter. OSHA has described the digging of trenches as one of the more hazardous undertakings that construction workers undertake.
Approximately two workers are killed every month in these trench collapses, and a single cubic yard of soil can weigh as much as an automobile. For a variety of reasons, cave-ins are more likely to occur in trench-related work than in a number of other excavation projects. OSHA has also put into place a number of safety requirements when it comes to the digging of trenches.
We will still need to await results of the OSHA investigation to discover in more detail what occurred. Though it may seem easy to provide a quick synopsis of how such an accident occurred, describing how an accident occurs and proving up a claim can prove to be difficult.
Victims of work-related injuries would be highly encouraged to speak to attorneys about their legal options. Though employers are generally held accountable for on-the-job accidents, other parties may be held responsible as well.
Source: The Kansas City Star, “Windsor, Mo., man’s body recovered after Lee’s Summit trench collapse,” Roberta A. Cronkleton, Tony Rizzo and Glenn E. Rice, Oct. 25, 2013