February 22, 2010 | Mark Paradies

Monday Accident & Lessons Learned: Two Die In Trench Collapse

I don’t usually post all the construction fatalities that happen in the US (or the world). Why? There are just too many.

But here is a link to a recent Fox News story about a double fatality cause by a trench collapse.

These don’t have to happen. We know how to stop these fatalities. No new science needs to be invented. Each trench collapse fatality is a needless loss of life.

Here’s a video demonstrating a collapse…

And here’s a trench cave in that occurred while an Oregon OSHA Inspector was filming…

Luckily the man “in-the-hole” was not killed in the second example. But many are not as lucky.

Back in 2003, I wrote an article called “Stop the Sacrifices.” It was an emotional appeal to the construction industry to stop these needless deaths. It caused a lot of controversy.

Perhaps the construction industry has improved since them. I know that some companies have. But others continue to put peoples’ lives at risk by promoting shortcuts (or at least turning a blind-eye to their workers’ taking shortcuts) and not promoting best practices to keep people safe.

If you are responsible for construction work and trenching, take a moment to review what you are doing to keep workers safe. A new sewer line or a broken water pipe isn’t worth someone’s life.

If you would like to learn more about best practices to improve safety, consider attending the 2010 TapRooT® Summit. The Safety & Risk Management Track has these Best Practice Sessions that will give you ideas to improve performance:

Improving Incident Investigation & Safety in the BW Fleet

Communicating with Management About Risk

Ahead of the Law: OSHA Enforcement Problems & Solutions

Using TapRooT® for Regulatory Compliance

How Does Your Corporate Culture Effect Your Investigations?

Advanced Ideas for Corrective Actions

Be a Safety STAR: How a VPPA Program & TapRooT® Can Be Combined for Excellent Safety Performance

Quality In Life & Work

Planning Your Improvements

Go to the Summit web site to see all the schedules for all the Best Practice Tracks and see which track will help your company’s performance the most.

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