Saturday, February 04, 2006

Fatal Trench Collapses: Excuses We Have Heard Before

"It's one of those things you've done a million times and on the millionth-one time, there's a problem."

-- Robert Brand, President of Robert R. Brand's Environments, a landscaping company that buried 29-year-old Roberto Alvarez-Nava alive in a 9 foot deep trench.

OSHA requires trenches more than 5 feet deep to be shored or sloped back to prevent collapse. Bob Pawlowski, MIOSHA's director of construction safety, said that the company has a clean safety record and never had a safety violation.

Their clean safety record clearly depended on luck, something that workplace safety programs should not be based on, according to the OSHAct.