MI Construction Worker Dies in Trench Collapse

Source: rdonar - 123RF

ABC News affiliate, WJRT, reports that a construction worker died after a trench he was working in at a condo complex in Imlay City, MI, collapsed, burying him.

The Imlay City Fire Dept responded to the call around 1 pm Thursday, when the worker was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the report, an excavator was working in the area when the accident occurred. Investigators haven’t said what the worker was doing when the soil caved in on him.

The worker was not identified while police notified his family about the accident. Fire officials say the man was a local contractor who lived in the Imlay City area.

Investigators remained on the scene for a few hours after the accident.

According to OSHA, excavation and trenching are among the most hazardous construction operations. OSHA defines an excavation as any man-made cut, cavity, trench, or depression in the earth’s surface formed by earth removal.

A trench is defined as a narrow underground excavation that is deeper than it is wide, and is no wider than 15 feet (4.5 meters).

OSHA standards require that trenches be inspected daily and as conditions change by a competent person prior to worker entry to ensure elimination of excavation hazards.

A competent person is an individual who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards or working conditions that are hazardous, unsanitary, or dangerous to employees and who is authorized to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate or control these hazards and conditions.