An Akron area man was flown to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland Wednesday after being buried to his waist in mud for more than two hours after a trench collapsed. The worker, Malcolm Ferguson, 51, of Akron, suffered broken bones in his lower leg, and possibly a large-bone break, Reminderville, Ohio fire officials said.
Trench collapses can be deadly and are usually caused by a failure to properly supports the trench walls. OSHA regulations apply to trench work and employers have a responsibility to make sure that employees are not exposed and required to work in unstable trenches. Obviously, there is catastrophic danger that can occur when there is a collapse. Broken bones, traumatic brain injury, suffocation and death are all very real risks that employers are obligated to protect their employees from when working in this setting.