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death of a geological surveyor on friday
#1
http://www.cnplus.co.uk/News/2008/09/wor...slide.html

tragic.

I don't know how deep this trench was, but it's a chilling reminder to be careful out there when the weather's been bad.

Tom





freeburmarangers.org
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#2
It was probably about this deep:

[Image: picture3.jpg]

(Taken from the poor chap's employer's website)

This is a very sad incident but one that could so easily have been avoided. If it's too deep to step out of (say 1m plus), then it's probably too deep to enter if unsupported, regardless of the ground conditions. And if the earth is loose or it's in danger of being flooded then don't even think about it.

D. Vader
Senior Consultant

Vader Maull & Palpatine
Archaeological Consultants

Your lack of archaeological imagination disappoints me Curator
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#3
Very sad, and +1 what D.Vader said. Thinking back, I'm shocked at some of the units I dug in/stood close to the edges of early on in my career...

A thought: how much of this kind of H&S is currently being taught in degree programme field schools in UK archaeology? Or is it still down to your first supervisor or some random quarry boss screaming at you when you do it wrong the first time?
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#4
By definition H&S safety training should be given by the employer and there is something wrong if it isnt.

Fortunately tragedies like these are rare. A number of things are needed for a slope to fail and it is not simply a case of being over a certain depth or the ground being waterlogged. This is why the 1.2m rule was abolished a few years ago.

A major investigation will now be underway by the H&S. Can we refrain from commenting about the practices of the firm until the full facts are known.

It is is however useful to bring to everybodies attention major incidents.

Peter Wardle

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#5
I always found it good practice to have all site staff read the risk assessment (which covers entering potentially unsafe trenches)and then sign to say that they understood the document.

Thought this was standard practice in archaeology?

[Image: OzinLondon.jpg]
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#6
Sadly, in my experience newbies have very little risk perception. What's just common sense after ten years will not even occur to the beginner. You really need somebody to explain. (Hands up if you know what super-charging the trench edge means? I wouldn't have when I started.) Looking back I know I've done alot of things in the past out of ignorance which make me blanche now. There still is a "it'll be fine" attitude in archaeology and a nasty tendancy to close ranks when it comes to near misses. We must be favoured by the gods on some level because there really ought to have been more fatalities in archaeology than there has been.
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#7
Thanks TM - good points to pick up on

I should have added -

Once they had read the risk assessment or had it read to them, then there should be an opportunity for the site staff to raise any questions or queries relating to it.

[Image: OzinLondon.jpg]
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#8
"...have all site staff read the risk assessment (which covers entering potentially unsafe trenches)and then sign to say that they understood the document."

Except (in my experience) they *don't* generally cover entering trenches beyond saying something like 'exercise caution when entering the trench'. If someone truly believes they can safely stand within inches of a deep section, as long as they think they're 'exercising caution'... Hence my question about formal training.

(There's the side issue of whether or not a signed risk assessment would stand up in court, too!)
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#9
Quote:quote:Originally posted by trowelmonkey

Hands up if you know what super-charging the trench edge means? I wouldn't have when I started.

I don't consider myself a beginner, but what does supercharging the trench edge mean? Sounds interesting!
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#10
Posted by Dr Peter Wardle:
Quote:quote:A number of things are needed for a slope to fail and it is not simply a case of being over a certain depth or the ground being waterlogged. This is why the 1.2m rule was abolished a few years ago ... Can we refrain from commenting about the practices of the firm until the full facts are known.

There is truth in what you say .................................., .

Ed by Peter Wardle

I have checked with a geotechnical engineer who is an expert on slope stability etc., and whose work includes supervision of geotechnical contractors, and his view is that it is never safe to enter an unsupported excavation that is deeper than your head. The fact that the one shown is so narrow just compounds the danger.

1man1desk

to let, fully furnished
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