Excavation work is often necessary on many construction sites. Laying foundations, burying wires and pipelines are often part of a construction project, and they involve digging trenches and excavation. However, these jobs are some of the most hazardous construction operations. Trench collapses lead to hundreds of injuries and dozens of deaths every year. The main cause of these accidents is the failure to adhere to OSHA safety regulations in an attempt to speed up the process and reduce financial costs.
General safety procedures that should be taken in to account in order to minimize the risks of a trench collapse are:
- Regular trench integrity checks
- Keeping heavy equipment and heavy loads away from the trench edges
- Regular testings for low oxygen and dangerous gases
- Providing safe access and exits from excavations
- Designing protective systems like sloping or using retaining walls
Trench accidents frequently involve:
- Cave-ins or wall collapses. Any workers in the trench at the time of the incident can sustain serious injuries including suffocation
- Falls into an unguarded trench
- Heavy equipment falls into the trench, which injures the workers and the operator and causes a trench collapse
If you were injured in a trench collapse or any excavation accident, we can help you pursue compensation for your injuries. Contact John M. O’Brien & Associates in order to find out more about your rights in the event of a workplace incident.