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Dying in a ditch

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by tRustyK5, Dec 17, 2005.

  1. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    As I was driving home and about to turn onto my street I had to get out of the way of a slew of emergency vehicles. One was the SFD "Technical rescue" truck...turning onto our street.

    A couple of blocks up from where we are they're building some condo's or townhouses and just have the foundation in, so I thought it must have been an accident on that site or something.

    Call me morbid, but after weaving through all the firetrucks, ambulances etc etc, I parked the Van and walked up to see what was going on. I guess the developers of the building site are paying to upgrade services along that road. They're installing culverts and filling in the ditches as well as doing some sewer work. I got up to the yellow tape and see an escavator and a 10-12 foot deep trench alongside the road, with about 20 firefighters on one side of the hole. Two guys were in the hole digging for all they were worth...:eek1: A guy was in the hole when one wall of the trench collapsed on him.

    A few minutes later they brought in a dog hoping to pinpoint more exactly where this guy was, but the dog wasn't getting anything. They ended up using the machine to pull about 20 yards of dirt out of the hole before finally finding the poor guy. By this time he'd been buried for almost 90 minutes.

    About then the coroner arrived, they broke out the yellow tarp and recovered his body...

    30 years old, first day on the job. :frown1:

    No cage or shoring in a 15 foot deep hole. :eek1: :angry1:

    We all know what it's like starting a new job, you want to do your best and not appear to be a whiner or a pussy. Looks like his new boss took advantage of that and took a few lethal shortcuts...focker!

    For you younger guys just remember that you have the right to refuse to work in unsafe conditions whatever they may be. The most important thing you do at work is go home to your family at the end of the day.

    I hope he didn't have kids...

    **update with more info**

    The guy was 55 years old. Moved here from yugoslavia in '97 to get away from all the unrest and stuff. He was married and had two teenage daughters. He had just taken this job to make a little extra Xmas money and it was his first day on the job.


    Rene
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2005
  2. MTBLAZER89

    MTBLAZER89 3/4 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Very sad:( especially this time of year. My prayers go to his family:(
     
  3. Corey 78K5

    Corey 78K5 1 ton status

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    Your right Rene. I used to do stupid stuff at work then as I got older and such I finally realized My life and health is not worth the money that someone else is getting.
    That is to bad for the guy. Now let the company who put Him in that situation take care of His family forever.....................
     
  4. chevyfumes

    chevyfumes Court jester

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    Watch for the muzzleflash!
    And try no to do anything dumb that will cost you for the rest of yoyr life, you youngsters arent invincible and if any of you have any questionns just dial fumes. Thanks Rene, I realy thought I was incredibly bulletproof til about 4 months ago, stoooopid me. I grew up...
     
  5. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    happened here too

    Just a few years ago a contractor was digging a foundation or laying pipes or something in the town next to mine,and he left the open ditch uncovered overnight...a small boy who lived nearby and was facinated by the excavator and was told to stay away several times during the day snuck over there that night..you guessed it..he went in the ditch,and its walls collapsed...found him the next morning when the workers arrived at 5:45 AM,they saw the dirt had fallen in,and footprints leading up to the edge...probably died instantly,buried alive under tons of dirt....

    Another similar incident happened not long before that,when a road was being dug up to install new sewer and water pipes,and a worker was crushed to death while working in the trench..the huge iron plates with the steel pipes used to support the trench's walls sat 100' away down the street unused...:mad: ..same old story--big hurry,lets rush it, and make as much money as we can--we wont need that safety cage,OSHA isn't here watching us.....same deal as your tragety tonight..a young guy,not more than 35,with wife and kids who'll never see him again..:(

    KILLING YOURSELF TO LIVE??

    While its true you CAN refuse to do potentially dangerous or life threatening jobs at work,they also have the right to "hire and fire at will" here in our state..so many guys take risks they shouldn't,to avoid being fired,or worse,ridden like a rented mule and given all the s*** jobs the place has to offer until he quits..

    I know that situation firsthand..I refused to drive the forklift once at one store-( some other guys always did that,I never drove one before,though I'm sure I could have if I had too)---boss says "why,you SCARED of it??--with a sarcastic tone..I said "No,I just have no hydraulics license,nor have I ever driven it before--and I'd rather not learn how to, INSIDE the building,IF I were to learn how to,AFTER I had my license to drive it..It IS ILLEGAL for me to operate it without it you know..(and I was right!)..

    He turned beet red,and says "Nobody else here has a damm license to drive it,and it never stopped THEM!"..so I just said "Good--let THEM drive it then,I don't want charges pressed against ME if I knock something over with it and kill somebody"..and I walked away..

    I was treated ten times worse after that day,he followed me around and just waited for any little thing I'd do he didn't like so he could ream my ass..only lasted 18 months there(about a year after the forklift argument!)..:mad: ..it was my "last" retail job ,after that I became a self employed bum..but I didn't have a wife or kids depending on me,and I could afford to quit..many guys don't have that luxury..:( ..Its too bad your expected to kill yourself in order to survive it seems.
     
  6. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    We have a new guy at work right now, fresh out of trade school. Refused to drive the forklift his second day at work, had never driven one either and had the common sense to let me know...so I spent 45 minutes with him training how to use it safely and told him to take his time...and if in doubt come call me.

    I have refused to do certain things at various jobs because I felt they were unsafe. I was working at a place where they built garbage trucks. One of them came in for repairs (yech) and the repair required being inside the box itself which i had no problem with normally. When the guy opened the rear door all I could see was hospital waste, needles, old blood bags, etc etc...

    I took one look and refused to work on the truck. My boss just about exploded but I stood my ground telling them I wouldn't work on that truck until it was pressure washed and all traces of biomedical waste was gone. He threatened to fire me, so I told him to go right ahead, the next two people he'd be talking to would be WCB (workers compensation Board, same as OSHA) and the friendly folks at the Labour relations board.

    I went home a few minutes later as it was a Saturday...came back in on monday and saw the same truck sitting there clean as a whistle. My boss and the truck's owner both apologized and I fixed it.

    Rene
     
  7. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    In Canada, the code is written that a worker has the "OBLIGATION", not just the right, to refuse unsafe work.

    I see guys going into unsafe trenches and excavations every day. I shake my head.........
     
  8. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    My neighbor works for a good sized union company that does similar work. According to him if he 'allows' someone into a hole more than 4 foot deep without a cage or shoring he'll be personally fined $32,000...even if nothing bad happens.

    Rene
     
  9. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Who issues the fine he's referring to? His own company?

    Our company policy is 1-1 sloping/stepping after 5 feet, otherwise it's shored. That's fine by me- I'm one of the fockers that gets buried if there's a cave-in......
     
  10. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    It probably is his own company doing the fining. If something bad happened the company would be heavily fined by 'Worksafe'.

    Rene
     
  11. 3 on the tree

    3 on the tree 1/2 ton status

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    I really hate to say this , BUT 45 minutes is not enough time to train someone to SAFELY operate a forklift. That is enough time to teach someone to hurt themselves or someone else. I drove a forklift for years and was responsible for training others in their use, so maybe ai am a little prejudiced.Shoot, you don't turn someone loose in a car solo after only 45 minutes. I will do things on a jobsite than I will NOT allow others to do, not because I think I am better than them, but because I am responsible for their safety, and that is a huge responsibility.
     
  12. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I would not compare driving a forklift to driving a car, and this is not a busy warehousing type environment. It's also not a very large forklift...

    I agree to learn all you should know about forklift driving does take longer than 45 minutes, but for the forklift stuff we do 45 minutes was/is overkill.

    Rene
     

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