Picture This! Unsafe Trench Claims a Young Worker

Date First Published on SafetySmart Compliance: June 29th, 2016
Topics: Confined Spaces | Safety Training | Young Workers & Mentoring |

unsafe trench

A 17-year-old laborer died and a co-worker was injured after an unprotected trench wall collapsed, burying the victim to his mid-chest and his co-worker to his knees. The teenage worker suffered a cardiac arrest during emergency surgery and could not be resuscitated. A trench shield that had been in place was removed after two sections of pipe were struck by an excavator and broken. The shield was not replaced before the two workers entered the 11-foot-deep trench the next morning. (NIOSH)

Related Compliance Material

  • For information on OSHA’s trenching standard and safe work practices, click here.
  • Alaska’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development issued a plea to employers after a young worker died in a trench collapse. Read more here.

Related Training Material

Visit SafetySmart.com

  • Share this Unprotected Trenches are Deathtraps safety talk with your workers.
  • Here’s another photograph of a trench that is not only unprotected, but also very wet, increasing the likelihood of a deadly collapse.
  • A young Colorado father died after a piece of pipe rolled into a trench and struck him. Read the article here