OSHA Investigating Trench Collapse Death


CLEVELAND, OH – The death of a township worker Tuesday afternoon is now being investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Cleveland office in cooperation with the State of Ohio Public Employees Risk Reduction Program.

The 54-year-old worker, whose name is not being released at this time, was buried under a load of dirt while working in a trench on Reeves Road just east of Bundysburg Road in Parkman, just east of Solon. Preliminary reports indicate that two Parkman Township employees were working in an unprotected trench about 10 feet deep installing a storm water runoff drain when one of the sides caved in. The second employee was not injured.

The excavator operator who dug the trench was also on the site at the time of the incident.

OSHA will investigate to determine if any violations of safety regulations contributed to this tragedy.

According to OSHA, cave-ins pose the greatest risk and are much more likely than other excavation-related accidents to result in worker fatalities. Other potential hazards include falls, falling loads, hazardous atmospheres, and incidents involving mobile equipment. Trench collapses cause dozens of fatalities and hundreds of injuries each year.