Trench Cave-In: Contractor's Responsibility

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1978, Vol. 48, Issue 3, Pg. 74-75

Document Type: Feature article


The article Can Trench Cave-In Deaths Be Cut� in CIVIL ENGINEERING�ASCE, September 1977, states that the owner's engineer should accept responsibility for the design of temporary supports for the trench . . . A geotechnical consultant, speaking for several of his peers, wrote to CIVIL ENGINEERING�ASCE suggesting a rebuttal article. He wrote, Under present liability conditions, responsibility for trench shoring, which really is a job safety matter, must remain with the contractor who has control of his workers and of the job and can assess local soil conditions and take prompt corrective action where needed. This is the requested rebuttal article. It explains that in today's liability climate, geotechnical consultant may be among those found liable, in case of injury or death, whether or not he is at fault. Why this is so is explained.

Subject Headings: Trenches | Occupational safety | Consulting services | Liability | Geotechnical engineering | Contracts and subcontracts | Soil properties

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