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OSHA Intervenes in Time to Protect Workers From Trench Collapse


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.

 

This trench collapsed moments after Area Office Compliance Officer Eliseo Hernandez and Assistant Area Director Joseph Roesler ordered two workers to evacuate the trench. The workers could have been seriously injured or even killed but for the action of the inspectors.

This trench collapsed moments after Area Office Compliance Officer Eliseo Hernandez and Assistant Area Director
Joseph Roesler ordered two workers to evacuate the trench. The workers could have been seriously injured or even
killed but for the action of the inspectors.

This trench collapsed moments after Area Office Compliance Officer Eliseo Hernandez and Assistant Area Director Joseph Roesler ordered two workers to evacuate the trench. The workers could have been seriously injured or even killed but for the action of the inspectors.

This trench collapsed moments after Area Office Compliance Officer Eliseo Hernandez and Assistant Area Director
Joseph Roesler ordered two workers to evacuate the trench. The workers could have been seriously injured or even
killed but for the action of the inspectors.

The trench collapse from a different angle.

The trench collapse from a different angle.

The trench collapse from a different angle.

The trench collapse from a different angle.

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