New York Trench & Excavation Accident Lawyer
Construction work involves many different elements. While most construction work involves erecting buildings, it can also involve creating trenches. Trenches are excavations used to install utilities, such as water, gas, and telecommunications, such as internet.
Many workers have to get inside the trench as part of their duties. This can be a hazardous situation. Trenching and excavation work presents serious hazards to workers, with the most common one being cave-ins.
Cave-ins occur when the dirt collapses inside the trench. Unstable soil and vibrations are the most common causes of cave-ins. These are potentially deadly situations for workers, as one cubic yard of soil can weigh as much as 3,000 pounds, which is about the size of a car. An unprotected trench can suffocate a worker. Other potential hazards associated with trenches include falling loads and hazards from mobile equipment.
Have you been injured by a trench collapse? If so, the New York trench & excavation accident lawyers from Cohan Law Firm can assess your case and get you the legal help you need.
Preventing Trench and Excavation Accidents
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has standards in place for trenches and other excavations. These standards outline the precautions that should be taken to stay safe while performing this type of work. All excavations that are at least 5 feet deep should use one of the following protective system options:
- Sloping the ground
- Benching the ground
- Shoring the trench with supports such as planking or hydraulic jacks
- Shielding the trench (using a trench box)
Proper planning is key to preventing trench collapses. Here are some things you can to stay safe:
- Assign and train a competent person.
- Identify and mark underground utility lines.
- Dig at least 5 feet away from utility lines.
- Evaluate the stability of the soil.
- Set up a protective system if the trench will be at least 5 feet deep.
- Provide additional engineering protections If the trench will be 20 feet or deeper.
- Have a plan in place in the event of an emergency.
While the above methods can help prevent trench collapses, it’s always better to use alternative methods. Some options include relining the pipe, pipe ramming, pipe jacking, and directional boring. Robots can be used on construction sites to transport and join large pipes to protect workers from serious injuries. Robots can also reduce the need for helpers to work at the bottom of the trench.
Contact Cohan Law Firm Today
Many construction workers don’t think much about the dangers of trenches, but the chances of a collapse happening are very high. Soil is a lot heavier than people think, and the risk of suffocation is very real and deadly.
Injured by a trench collapse or other incident? Contact a New York trench & excavation accidents lawyer from Cohan Law Firm and learn more about your legal options. To schedule a free consultation, call (855) 855-0321 or fill out the online form.