Cave-ins are the leading cause of fatalities during excavation projects, accounting for three out of four worksite deaths each year. You can take several steps to manage your risk from accidents and injuries related to cave-ins.

Follow Safety Procedures

OSHA has established the following guidelines to improve excavation safety (source: for trenches deeper than five feet:

  • Ensure that sloping, shoring, shielding, and protective systems are in place.
  • Designate a competent person to supervise the excavation site.
  • Never work in a trench that has water entering it.
  • Avoid raised loads over trenches when workers are inside.
  • Provide a proper and safe means of access and egress.
  • Always know the location and depth of underground utilities.
  • Clearly mark the perimeter of excavation sites.

Maintain Necessary Coverage

Most excavation cave-in fatalities and accidents can be avoided if you follow proper OSHA designated safety procedures. But they can still happen.

The proper insurance coverage can help you be prepared in case of a cave-in on your job site. Workers’ compensation and general liability plans should always be in place if your company is providing construction services.

Manage Risks To Limit Your Liability

By developing a solid risk management plan and obtaining the appropriate coverage, you can limit your liability in the event of an excavation accident or cave-in.