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California workplace accidents: Man killed when trench collapses

A 50-year-old California man was killed and another man was injured in a job site accident when a dirt trench collapsed in Los Angeles County. Workplace accidents often result in serious injuries and even death. The injured man had been buried to his hips but was rescued from the trench after 90 minutes by firefighters trained to handle workplace accidents. He was then air lifted to the nearest hospital where he is believed to be in stable condition.

The second man was buried to his chest, and although firefighters spent nine hours trying to free him, he succumbed to his injuries. He was not conscious or breathing by the time firefighters reached the scene. He was declared dead at the scene. It took more than 90 firefighters nine hours to remove the man from the trench. It was a tedious removal because of the risk of trench caving in further.

Both men worked for a subcontractor and were working on a storm-water treatment project at the time the trench caved in. The accident is still under investigation. Local authorities as well as OSHA investigate workplace accidents such as this one. It is unknown how long the investigation will take.

Workplace accidents are still a large problem. Regulations are in place to prevent these accidents but when not followed, results prove to be disastrous. The injured man may be entitled to certain benefits per the California workers’ compensation laws. The deceased man’s family may also be entitled to death benefits that typically include final expenses and a lost income package. The injured victim and the survivors of the deceased victim may benefit from gaining an understanding of their rights and responsibilities under this important state mandated insurance program.

Source:, “Palisades trench cave-in claims life of Chino man,” March 23, 2013