Tips for Preventing Construction Site Trench Collapses in NY
Trenches are a common part of many construction sites. They are also incredibly dangerous. It takes just seconds for an unprotected trench to collapse and cave in on itself, trapping victims inside. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines a trench as a man-made cavity or cut in the Earth that is created by removing Earth. Trenches are deeper than they are wide, and they are no more than 15 feet wide. OSHA notes that just one cubic yard of soil can weigh 3,000 pounds, making a cave-in incredibly dangerous.
Dangerous Excavation Work at NYC Construction Sites
Excavation work is the deadliest form of construction work performed today, according to OSHA. OSHA statistics show that excavation work has a fatality rate that is 112 percent higher than the fatality rate for general construction work. The primary hazard listed by the agency is employee injury due to collapse, with the lack of a protection system being the leading cause of injuries.
OSHA released statistics indicating that 23 workers were killed in trench collapses in 2016. This number exceeded the combined total from 2014 and 2015. The standard for trenches released by OSHA requires a protective system be in place for any trenches that are five feet or deeper.
Three Protective Measures for Trench Workers in New York City, NY
There are three protective measures that trench workers can put into effect when operating in a trench on a construction site. Those three protective measures are as follows:
- Shoring: Using aluminum hydraulics to prevent a trench from caving in.
- Sloping: This is the process of cutting the wall of the trench back at an angle that inclines away from the trench.
- Shielding: The use of trench boxes to prevent a cave-in of the trench.
It is also important for trench operators to only work when the conditions permit safe operation in the trench. Have there been changes to the trench due to the climate? What is the water content of the soil? What is the surcharge load? How deep will the cut be? All of these questions should be investigated and answered before trench operations begin.
Contact a New York City Trench Accident Attorney Today
Suffering an injury at a construction site can change your life in an instant. You might suffer a broken bone, require an amputation, or become permanently disabled to the point where you can no longer work. If you have suffered any type of injury on the job in New York, be sure to contact Proner & Proner to discuss your case. Our attorneys represent injured construction workers in New York City, the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn. We have an office located at 60 East 42nd St., Suite 1448, New York, NY 10165, as well as offices in the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn, NY. Call (212) 500-1003 or email us today.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.