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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200340461 - Trench Collapse Kills Employee

Accident: 200340461 -- Report ID: 0523900 -- Event Date: 10/01/2003
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30025439810/31/20031794Branstiter Transportation, Inc.
At approximately 2:10 p.m. on October 1, 2003, Employee #1, the company president, and a coworker were installing water and sewer services to a house which the company had relocated approximately one year prior to this accident. The coworker, who was also the backhoe operator, excavated a trench between the house and the inside of a sidewalk located at the street edge. The trench had an average depth of approximately 6 ft, with vertical walls and the excavated soil was placed at the trench edges. Trench width was approximately 30 in., equivalent to one bucket wide. Employee #1 entered the trench at the sidewalk or street side, and commenced hand digging to locate the existing water and sewer lines at the locate marks. Employee #1 was unsuccessful in locating the lines and stepped back in the trench so the backhoe could clear away more soil. This procedure went on approximately four times. As the Employee #1 stepped back in the trench for the final time, the trench wall collapsed, pinning him against the opposite trench wall, and crushing him. Employee #1 was removed from the cave-in site and taken to the hospital but died later that day. Neither employee had any formal trenching or excavation training.
Keywords: sewer, asphyxiated, pinned, construction, trench, crushed, shoring, cave-in, backhoe, unguarded
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Single family or duplex dwelling New project or new addition Under $50,000 1 X
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 300254398 Fatality Asphyxia Occupation not reported

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