A 43-year-old construction worker from Plainfield, New Jersey, who was in the process of running a drainage line for a house that was being built on Nueville Drive in Franklin Township, died after the trench he was working in collapsed and fell in on top of him. According to authorities, the accident occurred on May 4.
Police state that the man was working in a trench that was about eight feet in depth and approximately three feet in width. Other construction workers who were on the scene initially attempted to rescue the man, but after their rescue efforts were unsuccessful, they notified 9-1-1 that there have been an accident. Although rescue workers quickly appeared on the scene around 4:11 p.m. and began working to rescue the man, they were unable to extract him from the collapsed trench until about 5:43 p.m. The man was later pronounced dead on the scene at 6:10 p.m. by medics from the Robert Wood Johnson Hospital located in Brunswick.
Although the investigation is still underway, a preliminary report issued by the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration have initially stated that the construction company did have valid work permits for the site. They believe the reason for the collapse of the trench was due to the workers’ failure to properly meet the trench safety requirements along with a lack of shoring. Construction officials from Franklin Township have issues a “Stop Work Order” that is to remain in effect until the investigation is concluded.
OSHA reports that two workers are killed every month due to the collapse of a trench. Families who have lost a loved one due to a construction accident may be entitled to compensation for their loss and could benefit by learning more about their legal rights.
Source: NJ.com, “Plainfield man IDed as worker killed in Franklin trench collapse,” Dave Hutchinson, May. 06, 2015