Construction sites can present numerous hazards to workers. Chief among these are the dangers associated with excavation work, including the threat of cave-ins and trench collapses that can result in crushing injuries, asphyxiation, and death.
Worker injuries caused by trench collapses or cave-ins are preventable. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) requires that individuals working in trenches be protected from potential collapses or cave-ins by certain safeguard(s). These safeguards may include:
- Ensuring there is a safe way to enter and exit the trench;
- Cutting the trench in stepped grades;
- Properly sloping the trench to increase stability;
- Supporting the walls of a trench with posts, beams, planking, shores, and hydraulic jacks;
- Installing a trench box to protect workers;
- Keeping materials away from the edge of a trench;
- Inspection prior to entry;
- Removal of standing water.
Excavation and trench work are often a necessary part of many construction projects. Usually, trenches are dug out near construction sites to run cables, pipes, and equipment underground and beneath buildings. Trench collapses are more likely than other excavation-related incident to result in worker fatalities.
Low quality trench work endangers workers’ lives. Workers may be entitled to compensation from a number of potential parties involved at the construction site with the related excavation and/or trench work.
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury due to a cave-in or trench collapse, call the experienced lawyers at Houston law firm Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner at 713-222-7211 or toll free at 1-800-870-9584 for a personal injury consultation.