A Tazewell County man died in a recent trench collapse accident. He was helping a neighbor dig an eight-foot deep trench in his backyard for a septic system at the time of accident.
The local coroner determined that the cause of the man’s death was asphyxiation brought on by the pressure of the earth from the cave-in.
One of the less easily recognized dangers of a trench collapse is suffocation. This results from the earth piling around the trapped worker’s abdomen and chest, preventing him from drawing in sufficient breath to stay alive.
Excavations of the depth that was involved in this accident require a full array of trenching safety measures, such as the use of a trench box and properly shoring or sloping the excavation.