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OSHA Investigates Fatal Construction Accidents

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is expected to launch an investigation into the death of a 49-year-old man killed in a trench at a Texas construction site. The worker, Armando Gonzales, was working inside a 30 to 40 foot hole when two 1500 pound shoring panels fell and crushed him.

Trench work is always a dangerous part of any construction project. Extra care must be devoted to making sure the work site is safe. Every worker deserves to go home after a hard day of work and if safety is not a primary concern the result can be serious injury or even death. Sadly, Mr. Gonzales will not get that chance.

OSHA inspectors will attempt to determine what led to the collapse of the trench and whether this unfortunate incident could have been prevented. OSHA requires that a “competent person” is required to inspect ongoing excavations daily and look for signs that “could result in possible cave-ins”.

The OSHA inspectors examine several different factors including the soil type, water content of the soil, environmental conditions, proximity to previously filled excavation projects, the weight of the equipment being used and vibrations coming from the machines at work. According to local authorities, workers are killed in construction accidents due to trench collapses in this area a few times a year, most of the time due to the proper protection not being in place such us shoring.

OSHA also seeks to prevent New York construction accidents. The New York State Labor Law also is aimed at bolstering worker safety. Despite the noble efforts of OSHA and the impact of the New York laws, many accidents continue to occur. In 2011, for instance, there were 798 construction and excavation work place deaths nationwide, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If you are injured in a construction-related accident in New York, you need to retain lawyers that are experienced and knowledgeable. You need construction injury lawyers that boast a impressive track record of verdicts and settlements. The construction accident lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy fight to protect the rights of those injured, or tragically killed, in construction-related accidents. We provide the care, attention and legal expertise necessary while also fiercely fighting on our clients behalf. Block O’Toole & Murphy works to maximize our clients’ recovery under the law and we are committed to helping injured construction workers and their families during a very difficult and stressful time. To learn more about the trench accident lawyers you can review the firm website at For a free consultation, please call us at 212-736-5300.

Source: The Eagle, “Occupational Safety and Health Administration to investigate construction worker’s death,” May 31, 2013.

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