In very recent times, trenches have been used in the construction workplace for installing utilities and pipelines. Many people may picture construction trenches as just digging in the soil but this is far from the truth – it involves many risks and hazards like collapses, cave-ins, and side wall collapses that can cause severe injury and even death in the most serious cases. Trench collapse is one of the most common deadly accidents that can happen in the construction workplace concerning trenches.
If a trench collapses, there is always the risk that it will severely injure a worker through broken bones, deprived oxygen, and many other ways. This is why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has many rules that help minimize the risks associated with these life-threatening injuries and situations. Unfortunately, trench collapse accidents continue to occur every single year in the U.S.
Real Life Trench Accidents in New Jersey
These accidents even happen in our own backyard of New Jersey. These deadly accidents are known to be rare in N.J., but in 2015 there were 3 fatalities that occurred over a span of 7 months. Of those casualties, one of the latest occurred when a construction worker was running a drainage line around the foundation of a home when the trench collapsed on top of him and buried him under dirt. In another accident, a trench collapsed when a man was installing a drainage pipe and another man attempted to jump into the ten foot trench to save him, but failed.
In 2016, OSHA stated that trench collapse deaths more than doubled in 2016, putting more workers at risk. The fact is, these accidents are preventable and wouldn’t have to take lives every year. Some of the main reasons why they occur is due to ignorance of safety rules in the construction workplace, lack of supervision, pressures of time and money, and lack of proper equipment for the job.
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Liability in Trench Collapse Accidents
Sadly enough, employers can enforce the utmost of safety in their workplace and still see a deadly accident. Usually, when these accidents occur independent investigations will take place to look into the issues in the workplace, that could have led to these devastating injuries or death. Because there are many people involved in construction sites, there are many parties that you could hold liable depending on the circumstances of your case. These include third-party contractors, property owners, and equipment manufacturers on top of your employer.
How to Receive Compensation for my Injuries
Have you been injured in a trench collapse accident? If so, you may benefit from workers’ compensation, which is a system that allows you to receive compensation for things like lost wages and medical expenses. You could also receive compensation for things like permanent disability if your injuries were severe enough. Luckily, you have somebody on your side throughout the entire process. If you have been injured, we will walk you through the process of starting your claim, such as reporting the injury to your employer, filing your claim, meeting the statute of limitations, and so much more. Talk to us as soon as possible, as we are dedicated to your case and will help you receive the compensation you deserve after your accident.