5 Things You Should Know to Stay Safe in a Trench
The Payette County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that there was a fatal accident at the scene of construction site south of Fruitland on Saturday and identified the victim as 42-year-old Jeremy Eggers, of Fruitland.
Eggers was reportedly working on a property at 3705 Elmore Road when the accident occurred. He had been moving dirt on the property with a skid-steer loader.
When crews arrived at the scene Saturday, Eggers and the skid-steer were located in a pond in the area where he was working. The Ada County Dive Team assisted in recovering Eggers’ body and the equipment he was operating. His family and friends had not heard from him since Friday, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration was notified.
“We can confirm that OSHA is looking into this matter,” a regional spokesman for the agency told the Statesman on Monday. “This is now an open case, and we cannot provide details or more information at this time.”
This marks the third construction site death in two months in Payette County. In April, two men died in a trench collapse in New Plymouth when attempting to install pipes.
OSHA launched a program last fall focusing on the home construction industry in the Pacific Northwest, following Idaho Statesman reporting in 2017 on widespread problems in the industry. The investigation found that workers died and suffered serious injuries while supporting the Treasure Valley’s housing boom.
The Idaho OSHA office ramped up inspections and training as part of the program.
Other states, such as Washington and Oregon, have federal OSHA officers as well as their own versions of OSHA that provide additional oversight of employers. Idaho has no such state-based agency, and there are very few federal OSHA inspectors based in the Gem State.