Back to Failure to Inspect Trench and Protective Systems
Deaths Due to No Trench and Protective System Inspection
The following Case
Reports of trenching accidents investigated by OSHA illustrate how seemingly
innocent workplace activities can have deadly consequences.
- An employee was in a trench installing forms for concrete footers when it caved-in, causing
fatal injuries. The trench, which was 7 1/2 feet deep, was in loose, sandy
(Type C) soil, and no inspection was conducted prior to the start of the shift.
- In a trench 6 feet deep x 32 inches wide, an employee was applying a waterproofing primer
containing methyl chloroform and 1,4-dioxane to the foundation of a house.
The employee was overcome by the fumes, and later died of trichloroethane
intoxication. No one had tested the atmosphere in the trench, the employees
were not provided with respiratory protection, and mechanical ventilation
was not used.