According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as many as 25 construction workers die in cave-ins nationwide each year. Safety authorities say trench collapses in Arizona and other states are preventable when prescribed safety guidelines are followed. The prevalence of construction accidents with trench-related injuries and fatalities has led to the program that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration undertook nationally to step up safety enforcement and create awareness of trench hazards nationwide.
Although this program led to fewer trench-related incidents, repeated episodes of noncompliance with safety standards continue to occur. Although the most significant hazard of excavations and trenches is a collapse, many other dangers must also be mitigated. However, the primary task before sending workers into a trench is soil analysis, on which safety procedures will be based.