A worker was killed in a terrible tragedy on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 when the trench he was working in collapsed, burying him under 10 feet of dirt.
The unidentified worker, who was originally from Connecticut, had been working on a residential construction site at 648 Shore Acres Drive in Mamaroneck, New York. The trench he was working in collapsed for unknown reasons, burying the worker in 10 feet of dirt. Emergency responders arrived on the scene around 12:40 p.m. to try and dig him out, but unfortunately, by the time they got to him, it was clear he could not be saved. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Our thoughts are with the loved ones of the worker during this time. We send our deepest condolences.
As mentioned above, it is unclear why the trench walls collapsed, and police stated that the investigation into this accident is ongoing. However, experts have speculated on a number of possible reasons for the cave-in, including wet weather, vibrations from nearby construction equipment, and lack of support for the trench walls.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), trench collapses pose one of the greatest risks to workers’ lives. Trenches can be very risky places to work if proper safety precautions are not taken, but a properly secured trench can actually reduce a worker’s exposure to other hazards, such as falls or falling loads. OSHA has set standards for trench safety that are meant to protect workers from hazardous work environments. Some of these standards include:
- Trenches five or more feet deep require a protective system, which is a method of shoring or securing the trench walls to prevent collapse
- A competent person must inspect the trench daily before any worker enters to ensure there are no hazards present
- Heavy equipment and other materials that could affect a trench’s stability should be identified and moved away from the area
- Trenches should be inspected after any event that could have changed the conditions of the trench or made it unsafe
With all these safety precautions in place, too many workers have fallen victim to trench collapses that could have been prevented. Just two months ago, another worker in Woodbury was killed when the trench he was working in collapsed, burying him under mounds of dirt.
The construction accident lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy have handled numerous construction accident cases, including trench collapses. If you or a loved one has been injured or died as a result of a trench accident, we are ready to discuss your case. Select results obtained for trench accident victims include:
- $5,500,000 settlement for a worker whose upper body was crushed after he was struck by a rotating excavator in a trench
- $4,250,000 settlement for a union excavator who suffered a broken humerus and cervical radiculopathy after he fell into a trench and was struck by falling planks
- $3,075,000 recovery for a union plumber who sustained herniated discs that required spine surgeries after he was struck by falling gravel while working in a trench
- $2,100,000 settlement for a worker who was working in a trench in Queens when the walls collapsed, causing traumatic injuries to his feet and lumbar spine