By Alison Dirr
KAUKAUNA — There was no cave-in protection in the 10-foot-deep trench that killed an Appleton man when it collapsed Tuesday, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Scott A. Krepline, 46, owned Krepline Trucking & Excavating Inc. He was working alone in the trench when the walls collapsed, Rhonda Burke of OSHA said in an email to Post-Crescent Media.
“Preliminary reports indicate that the company was trenching and installing sewer line between new storage unit locations and an existing commercial business when the side walls of the trench collapsed,” Burke said.
Emergency responders were sent to 2200 Tower Drive in Kaukauna at about 3 p.m. on Tuesday.
Krepline was pronounced dead at the scene.
Burke said the company has no history of OSHA violations.
“OSHA is looking into this tragic incident,” said Scott Allen, an agency spokesman. “OSHA extends its sincere condolences to the family.”
These types of tragedies are preventable, he said.
Cave-ins are more likely than other excavation-related accidents to result in fatalities, and trench collapses cause dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries each year,according to the agency.
Unless built in entirely stable rock, trenches 5 or more feet deep require a protection system. Those that are 20 or more feet deep require a protective system designed by a professional engineer or should be based on data prepared or approved by a professional engineer.
Protective systems include sloping the trench wall away from the excavation, installing supports to prevent soil movement and using trench boxes.
The agency also requires safe access and exits, including ladders, steps and ramps, in trenches 4 feet deep or deeper.
Information from www.postcrescent.com