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Farm worker's life saved after he was buried in trench collapse

Trenches pose severe safety hazards to workers in California and elsewhere. Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes safety regulations for safeguarding trenches, some employers continue to allow employees to work in unsecured trenches. It is not uncommon for trench accidents to be fatal, and a worker in another state was fortunate to survive a recent trench collapse in a farm field.

According to the sheriff's office, a 911 call alerted emergency services about a trench collapse. It was reported that one member of the crew of farm workers who were installing drainage tile was inside the trench where he was busy connecting tile lines. When one of the walls of the seven feet deep trench unexpectedly collapsed, the worker was buried under the heavy soil.

With the help of co-workers, emergency workers managed to extricate the worker from the trench in time to save his life. He reportedly suffered serious injuries, and he was airlifted to a hospital. The investigation into this workplace accident is reported to be continuing.

Although the details and severity of the injuries this 45-year-old worker suffered in the trench collapse are unknown, he may not be able to return to work for some time. In the meanwhile, medical expenses and lost wages may adversely affect his ability to care for his family. Financial relief is available for injured California workers and may be pursued by filing benefits claims with the workers' compensation program. The insurance system typically covers the cost of medical treatment and provides a financial package to make up for a percentage of lost wages.

Source: agweek.com, "Worker injured in trench collapse in Minn. farm field", Oct. 28, 2015

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