Trenching and Excavation Accidents
Many construction projects require trenching or excavation for power lines, wells, septic tanks, and other purposes. While these activities are quite common, they are not without their dangers. There are hazards involved, and if a worker is caught in an unsafe situation, they can face catastrophic injuries and even death.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a trenching or excavation accident, the Decatur personal injury lawyers at Shiver Hamilton Campbell can help. We’ll give you the legal advice you need and guide you through the process of liability and recovery.
Common Trenching and Excavation Safety Hazards
A worker can become seriously injured or even killed by any of the following hazards:
- Cave-ins. This is the most common hazard when workers are involved in trenching and excavation work. They occur when workers are in an unprotected trench and the walls collapse.
- Struck-by objects. Getting hit by an object is one of the top causes of construction-related deaths. These accidents are often caused by moving vehicles, collapsing walls, and falling loads.
- Utility lines. While utility lines are primarily found above ground, they can also be underground. When a worker is not aware of them, they can hit them while excavating, causing electrocution and gas leaks.
- Toxic air. Gases, smoke, dust, and low oxygen levels can create toxic air, which may be hazardous to workers. Before you dig, conduct atmospheric testing to see if the air is safe to breathe. If there are issues, your employer should provide proper breathing equipment.
Staying Safe During Trenching and Excavation Work
Don’t become a statistic. Protect yourself during trenching and excavation work with these safety tips:
- Have an entrance and exit. Have a way out of the trench in case of a sudden emergency. A ladder or ramp can help you exit the trench quickly.
- Keep inspecting. Inspect the trench continuously throughout the project. You should make it a point to do thorough inspections on a daily basis, especially after a rain or other weather event.
- Keep excavated material away from trenches. Excavated material can be heavy, so if it is placed near the edge of a trench, it could cause a collapse. Place the material at least 2 feet away from the edge and in a retaining device such as a box.
- Stay away from uninspected trenches. If the trench you are working on has not been inspected by your supervisor or other knowledgeable person, refrain from working in it.
Contact Us Today
Trenching and excavation work are routine procedures in the construction industry. However, that doesn’t mean that they are always done safely.
If you have been injured by trenches or excavation, your employer could be deemed negligent. The Decatur personal injury lawyers at Shiver Hamilton Campbell can help you understand your legal options. Workers’ compensation may not be your only recourse. Schedule a free consultation with our office today by filling out the online form or calling (877) 215-6111.