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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 14486138 - Employee Killed In Trench Cave-In

Accident: 14486138 -- Report ID: 0215600 -- Event Date: 04/17/1985
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
101154304/18/19851711Gould Plumbing Company, Inc.
Employee #1 was in an approximately 18 ft deep by 5 ft long by 3 ft wide trench, trying to break open an unused sewer line to plug the end going into an active sewer line. When he struck the cast iron pipe, it began to vibrate. This apparently caused the walls of the trench to collapse, burying Employee #1 to his waist. When coworkers tried to rescue him, the walls collapsed further and completely buried him. Employee #1 died of asphyxia due to suffocation, aspiration of gastric contents, and mechanical compression of the body.
Keywords: suffocated, work rules, construction, trench, vibrations, shoring, unstable soil, sloping, cave-in
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 1011543 Fatality Asphyxia Occupation not reported

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