Excavator operators and construction workers who work in trenches face many dangers on the job. They may be required to operate heavy equipment, work in dangerous construction zones, work in unstable underground trenches and more. The risks are especially high when proper safety precautions are not taken.
At the law firm of Tolmage, Peskin, Harris, Falick, we represent injured construction workers. If you have been injured in an excavation or trench accident – or if you have lost a loved one in a fatal work related accident – we can help.
What Causes Trench Collapses/Cave-Ins?
Digging into the earth can have unpredictable results. When excavating, taking proper precautions is essential to keeping workers safe. But trench collapses still happen. There are many potential causes of a trench cave-in/collapse:
- Heavy equipment parked near the edge of a trench
- Heavy rains causing instability of trench walls
- A layer of stable soil positioned over a layer of unstable soil, resulting in the caving in of a trench
- Instability and subsequent collapse of trench walls, when a trench is dug and wind blows through
Many trench collapses are avoidable if only safety precautions are taken. Bracing systems should be properly in place. Ladders and ramps should be in place, allowing workers to easily exit the area in case of danger. All safety standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) should be met. Failure to take proper precautions can lead to tragic results.
If you are a construction worker who has been injured in an excavating or trenching accident, you may be entitled to compensation in excess of your workers’ compensation claim. Our lawyers can help you explore options for pursuing a third-party liability claim against a negligent product manufacturer or other negligent third party.