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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200784148 - Employee Suffocates In Trench Cave-In

Accident: 200784148 -- Report ID: 0626300 -- Event Date: 04/19/2007
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30954363504/19/20071711Tcs Plumbing
On April 19, 2007, Employee #1 was working for TCS Plumbing, a plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning contractor in Richardson, Texas. TSC Plumbing had been hired by the manager of a condominium in Irving, Texas, to unclog a drain, and the firm had found the problem to be a broken sewer line approximately 14 feet deep. Employee #1 was working by hand with a shovel in the bottom of the trench, cutting down the sides and shoveling the loose soil into the center of the trench, so it could be removed by the backhoe on site. The backhoe operator was prevented from using the backhoe to cut down the sides of the trench, because a fiber optic cable and a gas line were located in the trench as well. The vertical walls of the trench were not shored to prevent the trench from a cave-in while employees were working. The west wall of the 12-foot-deep trench collapsed, burying Employee #1 under the falling dirt. He suffocated, and he died due to asphyxia.
Keywords: maintenance, asphyxiated, suffocated, work rules, trench, pipe, plumbing, buried, cave-in, backhoe
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Multi-family dwelling Maintenance or repair Under $50,000 2 X
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 309543635 Fatality Asphyxia Occupation not reported FallDist:
Cause: Trenching, installing pipe
FatCause: Trench collapse

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