COVID-19 Notice: Block O'Toole & Murphy is fully operational in accordance with safety regulations provided by the CDC and local health officials.
Our attorneys continue to provide quality legal representation and are available to discuss your case over the phone, email, or video. Read more from our managing partners.
Block O'Toole & Murphy Block
& Murphy
Premier NY Personal Injury Lawyers

Construction Accidents Involving Trenches Can Be Prevented

Construction accidents involving trenches and excavations are often catastrophic or fatal. A recent North Dakota man escaped with his life after being buried in a 16 foot trench. Although this accident occurred far from New York City, the consequences of shoring and trench accidents are the same everywhere.

Suffocation is probably the most serious result of being buried, and it is frequently fatal. However, even if the victim does not die, the weight and pressure on the chest can make it very difficult to breathe, causing suffocation even if the victim's face is uncovered.

Another burial victim, a 16-year-old Indiana boy, was released from the hospital after being entombed in a sand dune for three hours. Doctors say that he will probably have lung problems for life because he inhaled a lot of sand. Otherwise, however, he is expected to recover.

In addition to lung damage, medical concerns include hypoxia to the brain because of lack of oxygen while buried.

The other major concern is "crush syndrome." This occurs when the weight of the dirt or sand destroys tissue in the body, releasing toxins into the bloodstream. This can cause liver failure, heart damage or other organ problems. In addition to internal injuries, lack of blood flow to the limbs because of the pressure can result in amputation when the involved muscle tissue dies.

The outcome of a trenching or shoring accident is determined by the weight of the earth or sand as well as the length of time the victim was buried.

Construction sites in NYC are not much different from sites anywhere, and the city has its share of burial accidents, injuries and deaths. For example, in June of this year, a construction worker was stuck in the mud in a 25-foot trench in Kew Gardens. The Second Avenue subway project has seen several burial accidents, including one in March. Last year an accident on Staten Island claimed the life of a 29-year-old construction worker.

Construction accidents of this type are preventable when proper shoring techniques are used to hold up the walls of the trench. If you were injured in an accident involving a construction trench or lost a loved one when an excavation collapsed, call the injury attorneys at Block O'Toole & Murphy. Learn how they can help.

Source: WDAY, "Effects of being buried discussed following Fargo construction accident," by Becky Parker, Jul. 24, 2013.

Speak with a Qualified New York Injury Lawyer Today

Fill out our short online contact form for a FREE, immediate case review, or call us locally at 212-736-5300 today. The lawyers in our firm work on a contingency basis, so we do not collect any money unless we win your case.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Firm Awards and Honors

These are some of the publications and organizations that have recognized our firm and individual attorneys for excellence.

Learn More
Block O'Toole & Murphy - Listed in Best Lawyers - Linking Lawyers and Clients Worldwide Best Lawyers - Best Law Firms - U.S. News The National Trial Lawyers - Top 100 Trial Lawyers Super Lawyers Million Dollar Advocates Forum Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum Irish Legal 100 Martindale-Hubbell - Peer Rated For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability New York Magazine - Top Verdicts & Settlements New York Law Journal - NAACP Frances Pope Memorial Foundation - Love. Support. Hope. St. John's University - School of Law St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Expertise - Best Workers Compensation Attorneys New York City 2020
Call Block O'Toole & Murphy Today For Help - 212-736-5300

What can we help you find?