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Owner of contracting company dies in trench collapse

Construction workers whose duties involve trench digging may be aware of the dangers they are exposed to. While company owners are responsible for the safety of their workers, it is not uncommon for some of them to disregard the safety regulations that are prescribed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Workers in Missouri may be interested to learn about a trench collapse in another state that claimed the life of one person.

In this tragic accident, it is ironic that the person who should ensure workers’ safety was the one who lost his life. The police reported that they were called to the accident scene at about noon on a recent Wednesday. While digging a trench to get to a waterline at the site of a new construction, the trench wall collapsed. It was reported that the owner of the contracting company, who was in the 20-foot deep trench, became overwhelmed by the falling dirt. Rescuers apparently barely managed to free his arms when another collapse occurred that buried the man alive.

The rescue attempts failed and the man’s death was confirmed at approximately 2:20 p.m. The Police Commissioner — who was present since the first collapse — stated that the trench walls were not supported. According to the strict safety regulations prescribed by OSHA, the walls of trenches should always be adequately supported to protect the lives of workers. An OSHA investigation is reported to be underway.

Missouri families who have lost a loved one in a trench collapse will likely have to deal with the financial repercussions while grieving. They may find comfort knowing that the workers’ compensation insurance fund aims to provide financial aid to surviving families when a fatal on-the-job injury occurs. The benefits usually include compensation for the funeral and burial, along with a financial package for the surviving spouse and other dependants.

Source: mlive.com, “Trapped man dies after secondary collapse during rescue in Grosse Pointe Woods“, Gus Burns, Oct. 29, 2014