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Document ID (ISN)52050
CIS number 89-1355
ISSN - Serial title 0096-1736 - Journal of Occupational Medicine
Year 1988
Convention or series no.
Author(s) Suruda A., Smith G., Baker S.P.
Title Deaths from trench cave-in in the construction industry
Bibliographic information July 1988, Vol.30, No.7, p.552-555. Illus. 20 ref.
Abstract At least 70 construction workers die each year in trench cave-ins, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards for work in trenches have been criticised as hard to understand and inadequate. This study examined 306 fatal cases, obtained mainly from OSHA investigations, from 1974 to 1986. Most of the deaths occurred in shallow trenches while the victims were digging sewer lines, and were caused by failing to shore or brace the walls of the trench. The risk of cave-in death was higher among young workers and those in small firms; only 12% of the deaths were in unionised companies. OSHA issued citations in 94% of the cases, with fines ranging up to $58,400; the average fine was $1,991 per death. Death due to cave-in is a significant risk for construction workers, and can be prevented by proper protective measures.
Descriptors (primary) trenching and excavating; USA; causes of accidents; fatalities; construction industry
Descriptors (secondary) comment on standard; statistical aspects
Document type D - Periodical articles
Subject(s) Construction industry
Broad subject area(s) Physical hazards
Browse category(ies) Trenching and excavating
Construction industry and civil engineering