On April 20, 2011, OSHA Compliance Officer Eliseo Hernandez and Assistant Area Director Joseph Roesler were on their way to an inspection near Auburn, Ala., on Wednesday. Along the way they noticed an open excavation where employees were not protected from cave-ins. Immediately, they stopped and opened an inspection. The excavation was approximately 5 and 1/2 feet deep where two employees were working under an excavator bucket connecting a water line. Just after Hernandez removed the employees from the hazard, the wall of the excavation fissured and collapsed. No one was hurt, and the emphasis program on excavation and trenching demonstrated its value. For more information on preventing cave-ins, view OSHA's Construction eTool on Trenching and Excavation and Safety and Health Topics page on Trenching and Excavation.
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