Does the industry need to do more to educate workers on trench safety?
Yet another industry professional was severely injured by a trench collapse. Bill Galena of Filers Plumbing and Heating in Grove City, Penn., was buried up to his chest in the collapse while he was doing routine sewer line work in an 8-foot-deep trench.
WFMJ.com reports that Galena had to be flown to Allegheny General Hospital, where he remains in intensive care. He was one of two workers injured in the collapse. The other worker, Bob Johnson, walked away without any major injuries.
“A tactical team trained in trench rescues made it to the scene shortly after the soil gave way,” says the report. OSHA is still investigating the collapse.
Here’s the full video report:
Brendan Claybaugh, an OSHA assistant area director, says in the article that the agency must follow certain protocols to complete a thorough investigation, which will include interviewing personnel and emergency responders.
“People really need to respect the soil, because one cubic yard of soil, which isn’t much, can basically weigh as much as a car,” he says.
If there’s any silver lining here, it’s that this is the first incident of its kind in Mercer County in 15 years, which means workers there are paying attention to potential risks and taking necessary safety precautions.
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of seeing these headlines and reading about workers being injured and killed in trench collapses. Obviously, OSHA regulations aren’t cutting it. Perhaps improper training is the culprit in this case, but this isn’t the first time it’s happened, and it probably won’t be the last.