Eric Giguere is known to some as a Walking Miracle. Read Eric’s story about the lengthy ordeal he struggled with even after surviving the cave in.
Every day thousands of workers are working trenches and like most they are taking risk that could and will some day cost them something. Sometimes it may be an injury, but usually it is their life. Check out this tweet by NIOSH on how a young man was fortunate to survive.
Eric tells a group at the National Safety Council Congress and Expo in Orlando Florida;
“I’m a guy who got comfortable doing things the wrong way,” Giguere told NSC attendees. “I’m your average, hardworking guy. Essentially, I am any of you people in this room.”
When we become comfortable with unsafe work practices, it is only a matter of when we will be injured seriously or become a fatality. As you read through Eric’s story take note of how long the recovery took him. Also take note of the effect this avoidable injury had on his family, fortunately he survived. Typically this is not the case. That is why Eric has been referred to as a Walking Miracle.
Remember a trench is nothing less than a confined space. Due to the CPR and first aid training of his crew, Eric is alive today.
When working in trenches do not take short cuts.
- Anything below 5 feet must have approved shoring, gas sampling and a means of exit every 25 feet when 4 foot or deeper.
- Use a tailgate meeting to discuss how you would react and respond to a cave in.
- Have everyone on the crew trained in CPR.
- Have a “Competent Person” overseeing the dig.That person must have the authority to shut down the dig if a hazard becomes present.
- When in doubt, get out.
For more information on trenching and excavation check out the pdf files OSHA has established.
The APCA or American Pipeline Contractors Association has the following:
While this is not a comprehensive list by any means, the number one rule when you are dealing with any hazard is,When in Doubt, GET OUT” is a rule that will keep you alive.
Eric himself said it best, He should have died. Don’t risk your life by working in unsafe work areas.