A construction crew in Idaho was working on a sewer expansion project. As part of the project they dug a 15- to 25- foot deep pit. One of the crew members was working at the edge of the excavation when it collapsed, pulling him down into the hole under the collapsing dirt.
He was rescued by co-workers and was taken to the hospital, where he is listed in critical condition.
This accident was the product of not properly shoring and sloping the excavation. These are basic safety practices which are required under OSHA regulations and are designed to prevent this kind of an accident.
On most construction sites, the general contractor is responsible for ensuring that the work is done in compliance with OSHA standards, and the failure to properly shore and slope this excavation would have been readily apparent to any competent person on the job site and would have required the general contractor to stop the work to remedy the unsafe work practice.