Deaths in Trenches and Excavations

As recently reported by OSHA, the construction industry is coming off the deadliest year for trenching and excavation in 18 years.

In 2022, 39 people died while working in trenches or excavations, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. That is more than double the number of deaths in 2021, and the most since 2005, when 39 construction workers died in trench collapses, according to a 2019 study by the CPWR or Center for Construction Research and Training titled “Recent Trenching Fatalities: Causes and Ways to Reduce.”

OSHA sounded the alarm last year after 22 workers died in the first six months of 2022 and ramped up enforcement and education efforts. Contractors have been hit with six-figure fines and state prosecutors in a number of states have filed criminal charges against contactors after fatal trench collapses in those states.

Benny Agosto, Jr., managing partner at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner, is currently pursuing a number of cases where clients have been tragically killed in trenching and excavations.

“A trench collapse can bury workers under thousands of pounds of soil and rocks in seconds, making escape and survival often impossible,” says OSHA regional administrator, Bill Donovan in Chicago. “With proper training and use of required safety procedures, incidents like these can be prevented. OSHA and the industry employers are working hard to raise awareness of hazards and protective measures and educate employers on how they must protect workers.”

If you or someone you know has suffered injuries or the loss of a family member due to a work-related accident, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz, & Stogner by calling 713-222-7211 or 1-800-870-9584.