Trench Excavation Accidents
Trenches must often be dug on construction sites to bury electrical wires, conduit, and plumbing, or to gain access to an underground area. While necessary, these trenches and excavation sites pose serious risks to construction workers who are required to enter them, as well as individuals who work near them. Even a shallow trench can cause catastrophic injuries or loss of life if there are dangerous tools, live wires, or water in the excavated area. Because many factors can potentially bear upon a trench or excavation accident, our lawyers are here to help workers and their families understand their legal rights to obtain fair compensation for injuries.Common Causes of Trench & Excavation Accidents
A great number of trench and excavation-related accidents are entirely preventable. Many construction companies and contractors fail to adhere to OSHA standards by not having a properly trained person assess the ground before digging a trench, or by failing to use the correct equipment. In other words, inexperienced workers are given the task to dig a trench, but not the training or the proper tools. Therefore, trench accidents generally fall into a few different categories:
- Cave-in or collapse – When a trench caves in or collapses, any workers in the trench can be buried or crushed, causing serious injuries such as asphyxiation.
- Falling into a trench – Falls into excavation sites can occur when a trench is unguarded, and a worker is standing on the edge of a trench that has not been properly stabilized.
- Heavy machinery falling into and collapsing a trench – When heavy equipment is used too close to the edge of a trench, it may fall in and injure workers in the trench or the operator of the machinery.
According to OSHA reports, at least two construction workers are killed each month due to trench and excavation accidents. To help prevent these accidents, OSHA requires that those in charge of a construction site make sure heavy equipment and excavated soil are kept at least two feet away from a trench. Trench workers must be provided with visible and protective clothing, as well as other appropriate protective systems. Construction companies must also test for hazardous fumes, gases, or low oxygen in trenches that are more than four feet deep. If any of these safety standards are violated, workers are at risk of severe injury, and those responsible for keeping workers safe should be held accountable for any accidents and injuries that occur.Contact the Legal Team at KWFDM after a Trench Accident in Georgia
To learn more about your rights and options after being injured in a trench or excavation-related accident, please contact Katz Wright Fleming Dodson & Mildenhall, LLC at 404-460-0101 or 888-426-2100 for a free consultation. As experienced personal injury and construction site accident lawyers, we can answer all your questions and, ultimately, work with you to obtain maximum compensation for your damages.