Emergency personnel recovered the body Friday afternoon of a worker who was buried when a trench collapsed Thursday in Lee’s Summit.
The worker was identified by police as Brian D. Allen, 49, of Windsor, Mo. Allen was one of two men working to connect a sanitary sewer to a home being built in the 1000 block of Southwest Drake Drive.
Allen was in a 75-foot-long trench when the earth shifted about 1:30 p.m. Thursday and collapsed, trapping him. Emergency crews spent more than 24 hours working to free his body.
Their efforts were hampered when additional shoring was required to make the recovery site safe, Lee’s Summit police said.
Rescuers worked at a depth of 17-feet below the surface in space only a few feet wide. Because of the limited space, crews worked in 15 minute shifts.
Officials from the Occupational Safety Health Administration have opened an investigation into the accident.
Information on the OSHA website describes trenching as “one of the most hazardous construction operations.” According to OSHA, one cubic yard of soil can weigh as much as a car.
“Two workers are killed every month in trench collapses,” according to OSHA. “Cave-ins pose the greatest risk and are much more likely than other excavation-related accidents to result in worker fatalities.”
OSHA has established safety requirements that must be followed by employers. Some states have their own safety requirements, but Missouri is not one of them listed on the OSHA website.
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