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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 202470266 - Worker Is Killed In Trench Collapse

Accident: 202470266 -- Report ID: 0950643 -- Event Date: 09/18/2011
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31482672809/18/20111521American Builder Construction Co.
On September 18, 2011, Employees #1 and #2, of American Builder Construction Co., worked inside a poorly shored trench for a retaining wall at a residential site, digging an additional 2 feet for footings. The bracing on the shoring was on the high side of the hill. The excavation was over 5 feet high per employees, as the shoring was above their heads with the dirt level with it. As the employees dug, they threw the spoil on the high side. Since the bracing was on the high side, the surcharge caused the hill to slide down, pushing the shoring on the high side forward and pinning Employee #1 between that side and the opposite side shoring. The trench collapsed. Employee #1 was killed in the accident. On the day of the accident, there was no competent person on site. At approximately 2:30 p.m., the Ventura County Fire Department notified OSHA of the collapse. Observation of the scene disclosed poor shoring construction techniques, poor quality wood, and surcharge on top of the hill. Background: The employees had originally dug a ledge on a hill to place a rebar cage for the foundation of a cinder block retaining wall. Three days before the accident, the Ventura County Building and Safety Department Inspector visited the site and informed the person in charge that the shoring and excavation were not being done properly, there was surcharge, and the whole site had to be engineered. He told the person in charge that the trench had to be dug an additional 2 feet for footings.
Keywords: excavation, asphyxiated, collapse, pinned, construction, trench, shoring, bracing, retaining wall
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Single family or duplex dwelling Alteration or rehabilitation $50,000 to $250,000 X
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 314826728 Fatality Asphyxia Construction laborers FallDist:
Cause: Excavation
FatCause: Trench collapse

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