Columbus Workers Die Constructing Apartments

Columbus was the scene of a tragedy this past Monday when two construction workers were killed while digging a trench at a construction site, according to this story in the Ledger-Enquirer, UPDATE: OSHA Investigating Trench Collapse at Summit Pointe Apartments.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration [OSHA] investigators learned in their inspection Tuesday that the trench which held the bodies of James Jackson and Alan Thomas had not been shored up properly with beams.

“Although initially reported as 12-feet deep, further investigation found that the bodies of 50-year-old James Jackson and 46-year-old Allen Thomas were found once rescue workers dug to 18-feet deep. Fire Marshal Ricky Shores said the trench was 40-feet long and varied in width throughout.”

A tamper, which is a machine that packs dirt, was being used by both men when they were injured. There was 6-8 feet of dirt on top of the two men. Fire Department rescuers dug for 8 hours to get to the men after the trench collapse was reported just before 11 a.m. The rescue was complicated, because efforts had to be made to ensure the rescuers were safe, and another collapse didn’t occur.

Fire Marshal Ricky Shores: “When you’re performing a trench rescue, there are several variables you have to deal with. You have to get the other would-be rescuers out of the trench so they don’t become victims. And you have to secure the walls so you don’t have further collapse.”

The two men were employees of Allen Development Company. Jackson’s son was nearby working with a backhoe, and he tried to rescue his father, but didn’t know where he had been working.

If you or someone you know has been injured on the job, or feels they have suffered due to a hazardous working situation, call Nate Hansford at 770-922-3660 for a free consultation about a possible worker’s compensation case.