The accident occurred next to a Network Rail depot shortly before 4am.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Crews were called to reports of a man, believed to be in his 50s, who had become trapped in a hole that he had been working in.
“It is believed that the sides of the hole collapsed around him which left him buried up to his chest by soil.
“Crews used a spinal board and specialist equipment to free him from the hole.
“Once out, medics anaesthetised the man, who was suffering from crushing chest injuries and a back injury, before taking him to University Hospital North Staffordshire.
“The hospital was pre-alerted and medics were on standby awaiting the arrival of the man.”