Trench Collapse Traps Two Workers, OSHA Investigates

Rapid City, SD – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has opened an investigation into a Rapid City trench collapse that trapped two workers, including one who died last Monday afternoon. OSHA is still confirming information of the identity of the workers as well as the company. 

The incident occurred in the driveway of an unoccupied home in an area building up new homes and apartments. 

The accident was reported just before 4 p.m., after a police officer and medic responded and found the two men trapped in a large dirt pile in a trench that was 15 feet long, six feet wide, and five feet deep.

First responders were able to rescue the man submerged up to his chest, but the other man was buried, where it took nearly five hours before recovering the body around 8:45 p.m.

Trenching, or creating a narrow excavation, is a dangerous activity if not done properly, according to OSHA’s Trenching and Excavation Safety publication. Cave-ins or collapses are the greatest risk and can be fatal since one cubic yard of soil can weigh as much as a car.

Story and image originally sourced from Rapid City Journal.