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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 362503740 - Employee Buried In Trench Collapse

Accident: 362503740 -- Report ID: 0950643 -- Event Date: 03/30/2000
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
11993954403/30/20001521Joseph Cohen
On March 30, 2000, Employee #1 was working at a family residence owned by his employer. An existing retaining wall in the backyard of the residence had been removed and a new 8 ft high vertical cut had been made in a dirt embankment in order to install a new retaining wall further back. The excavation was 90 ft long and 8 ft high and had a 3-ft-wide trench at the bottom for the installation of the footing for the new wall. There was no shoring installed for the vertical cut. Employee #1 and his coworker had been hired by the homeowner to build the new retaining wall. At the time of the accident, Employee #1 and his coworker were in the trench in front of the vertical cut installing rebar for the footing. There were two other laborers moving the dirt from the excavation to a bin in the front yard. They were in the front yard at the time of the accident. There were also two painters working inside the house at the time of the accident. At some point while Employee #1 and his coworker were inside the excavation, an 18-ft-wide section of the vertical face collapsed on Employee #1. The other four laborers responded and tried to rescue Employee #1. Employee # 1 was unable to be resuscitated by emergency personnel and was pronounced dead at the scene. The causal factor for the accident was determined to be a lack of cave-in protection such as a system of shoring or sloping to protect the employees working in the excavation from the hazards of moving earth.
Keywords: embankment, asphyxiated, collapse, trench, retaining wall, cave-in
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Single family or duplex dwelling Alteration or rehabilitation Under $50,000 1 8 X
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 119939544 Fatality Asphyxia Construction laborers FallDist:
Cause: Excavation
FatCause: Fall from/with scaffold

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