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Unsafe Spoil-Pile Placement - Deaths Due to Unsafe Spoil-Pile Placements

Case Reports

The following Case Reports of trenching accidents investigated by OSHA illustrate how seemingly innocent workplace activities can have deadly consequences.

  • A spoil-pile had been placed on top of a curb which formed the west face of a trench. A backhoe was spotted on top of the spoil-pile. The west face of the trench collapsed on two employees who were installing sewer pipe. One employee was killed; the other received back injuries. The trench was 8 feet deep with vertical walls. No other protection was provided. The superimposed loads of the spoil-pile and backhoe may have caused the collapse.

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