Falls from heights are one of the leading causes of injuries on construction sites. Any high platform, pit, or trench that presents a risk of injury when falling from it or through it needs to be adequately guarded with barricades, handrails and warning signs. Unfortunately, many construction sites overlook these safety measures, and the result is often catastrophic.
Trenches are particularly dangerous because the injury may not be caused entirely by the fall, but also by the trench collapsing over the worker, resulting in severe damage or even death by suffocation. These accidents are completely preventable and yet, injuries and fatalities still happen too frequently.
Unguarded trenches can lead to a variety of accidents including:
- Falls. Falling into a trench can lead to serious injuries, like broken bones, head injuries and internal damage.
- Cave-ins. When a trench collapses, any workers inside can be crushed under the weight and suffocated to death.
- Heavy equipment falls. The workers operating these machines often do not have a good visibility angle. Therefore, adequate warning signs should be placed around these danger areas.
Working in or with trenches is a hazardous task, but when proper safety regulations are in place, the risks are minimized, if not completely eliminated. Workers have the right to a safe workplace, and when it’s violated, the responsible parties can be held accountable for their actions. John M. O’Brien & Associates is an experienced personal injury law firm that can help you pursue fair compensation for your injuries and losses.