The attorneys at Basch & Keegan LLP handle all types of construction accident cases, including personal injury and wrongful death claims involving trenching and excavation accidents. Based in Kingston, NY, we represent injured workers throughout the entire Hudson Valley.
Trenching and excavation can be extremely dangerous. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the walls of any trench will eventually collapse — it’s merely a matter of time. Therefore, trenches should only be open for a period of minutes or hours (at a maximum). Unfortunately, however, a trench’s apparent stability is often enough for a contractor to send workers into a dangerous trench in hopes of fast progress and financial gain. Serious injury or death is too often the result of prioritizing profit over safety.
Trench and excavation accidents frequently involve:
Falls into trenches or excavation sites
Falling loads from above a trench or excavation site
Hazardous atmospheres — including toxic fumes and water accumulation
Failure to provide a ramp or ladder for escape
Use of heavy machinery near an excavation site
To prevent accidents, trenches are to be inspected daily and as conditions change, in order to ensure elimination of excavation hazards. Inspections should occur before workers enter any trench or excavation site.
When digging trenches deeper than five feet, contractors must take appropriate safety measures to protect workers. Practices such as benching, sloping, shoring, and shielding can make trenches safer – but these safety systems must be executed properly to make any positive difference. If a contractor or construction company attempts but fails to follow OSHA safety guidelines — in design or execution — responsible parties may still be held liable for worker injuries.
At Basch & Keegan LLP, our legal team understands the extensive financial and emotional effects that the victims of construction accidents face. It is our firm’s goal to help injury victims understand their rights following an accident and help them recover the compensation they deserve. To learn how we can assist with your case, contact us to schedule a free consultation.