If you work in construction here in New York City, it's likely that you have worked around, if not in, trenches. But did you realize that trench collapses are one of the deadliest types of accidents that can occur on construction sites?
Data supplied by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that in a nine-year period during the last decade, there were on average 35 fatalities per year among those working around and in trenches.
The reason for that is simple: Dirt is very heavy. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), just one cubic yard of dirt may weigh over 3,000 pounds. All that can come crashing down on the unwitting working toiling away in an unshored trench.
Some types of soil are heavier than others, and some soil types retain more water that adds to the weight. The heavier the soil is, the more risk there is to those working around it.
Trenches can also be destabilized by heavy machinery and equipment in close proximity to the trench site. Even vibrating tools like jackhammers can threaten the integrity of the soil in and near the trench and cause workers additional risks.
Companies must take all precautions required under the law to keep their workers safe while on the job site carrying out their regular and customary duties. When they fail to uphold these safety standards and workers get injured or killed, they can be held liable for the resulting damages.
Did you suffer injuries in a trench collapse on a New York City construction site? You may be entitled to compensation and other benefits by filing a legal claim for damages.