Working Alone

Every industry has its own set of hazards. In the construction business, one of the biggest is trenching and excavation. To insure that work is done safely there is a rigorous set of requirements that have to be met before anyone goes in harm’s way.
But having safety rules is no guarantee of safety, as this incident graphically illustrates.
Your crew may not face this kind of hazard.  But just because they don’t doesn’t mean there isn’t a lesson be learned from this tragedy. There definitely is: it involves working alone.
It will be up to the investigators to determine exactly what went wrong in this case, but a fatal injury of this kind to someone working alone in in this sort of situation is not uncommon. 
Which leads to this question: What factors might make someone less inclined to follow the rules when they’re working by themselves? 
And, what can you do to make sure that doesn’t happen to someone on your crew?

Paul Balmert
April 2019

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