“The Challenge of Trench Rescue: “”Few Situations More Dangerous”””

Issue 7 and Volume 135.

The Challenge of Trench Rescue: “Few Situations More Dangerous” features There are few situations more dangerous than when emergency service personnel must attempt to rescue someone from an unsupported trench. Yet there are few situations for which fire, rescue and emergency medical service personnel are generally less prepared! There are a number of reasons for this lack of preparedness. First there is a feeling among fire and rescue personnel that such accidents just don’t happen—that utility contractors are too well supervised by OSHA and other safety overseers to risk being heavily fined for allowing their employees to work in an unsafe area. This is not the case at all. The number of safety inspectors is low and many contractors would rather risk an inspector showing up on a job site than take the time and effort to sheet and shore a trench that may be open for only a short…

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