Back to No Protective System
Deaths Due to No Protective System
The following Case Reports of trenching accidents investigated by OSHA illustrate how seemingly
innocent workplace activities can have deadly consequences.
- Two employees were installing 6" PVC pipe in a trench 40' long x 9' deep x 2' wide.
No means of protection was provided in the vertical wall trench. A cave-in
occurred, fatally injuring one employee and causing serious facial injuries
to the other.
- An inadequately protected trench wall collapsed, killing one employee who had just gotten
into the trench to check grade for installation of an 8" sewer line.
The trench was 20-25 feet deep and had been benched about one bucket-width
(4 feet) on each side. At the time of the collapse a backhoe was still
extracting soil from the trench.
- Four employees were in an excavation 32' long x 7' deep x 9' wide boring a hole under a road.
Eight-foot steel plates used as shoring were placed against the side walls
of the excavation at about 30-degree angles. No horizontal bracing was
used. One of the plates tipped over, crushing an employee.