According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the fatality rate for excavation work is 112 percent higher than the rate for general construction work. Potentially fatal excavation hazards include cave-ins, asphyxiation, inhalation of toxic fumes, drowning, electrocution, explosions, vehicle rollovers and more.
Because of the increased risk of injury or death that excavation workers face, OSHA requires construction companies, general contractors and other responsible parties to provide adequate protection to workers in trenches and excavations. Unfortunately, not all do. Such negligence may give rise to a personal injury lawsuit in addition to a workers' compensation claim, allowing injured workers to potentially recover far more money.
At Block O'Toole & Murphy, our New York excavation accident attorneys will fight to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation to which you may be entitled for your injuries. We have an outstanding record of success, obtaining more than $850 million* for injured individuals throughout the state. Combining individualized attention with a passion for results, we will not rest until justice is done for our clients.
Preventing Excavation Accidents
Here are a few of OSHA's recommendations for preventing fatal accidents and injuries:
- Never enter an unprotected trench.
- Hire a registered professional engineer to design a protective system for trenches 20 feet deep or greater. Protective systems should include:
- Sloping of the trench wall by cutting it back at an angle inclined away from the excavation
- Shoring by installing supports to prevent soil movement in trenches that are not deeper than 20 feet
- Shielding by using trench boxes or other supports to prevent cave-ins
- Always provide a ladder, stairway, ramp or other exit no farther than 25 feet away.
- Keep spoils or pile placement at least 2 feet back from the edge of the trench.
- Inspect trenches prior to entry and after rainstorms, significant vibration and excessive surcharge loads.
Contact a Trench Collapse Injury Attorney Serving New York
If you were severely injured or a loved one was killed in an excavation accident, get a FREE case evaluation from the experienced New York City construction injury lawyers at Block O'Toole & Murphy today. Call us at 212-736-5300, or contact us online.
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*Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.