Working in the construction industry is one of the most dangerous careers in the U.S. As I mentioned in a previous blog, work safety measures must be the top priority for occupations such as construction due to the high risk of injury.
Excavation, according to recent statistics, is an especially dangerous field in the construction industry. According to new statistics by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, excavation safety is in serious need of reform.
OSHA data confirms there have been 23 excavation and trenching fatalities in 2016 nationwide.
These types of work fatalities have doubled since 2015.
Two heart wrenching deaths occurred within our own state lines, one being the death of Ohio worker James Rogers. Rogers was killed June 2016 when the trench walls collapsed. He worked for KRW Plumbing and was laying piping in a 12-foot deep trench before it collapsed.
OSHA investigations identified that the employer, KRW Plumbing, did not follow trench safety precautions.
Safety standards based on OSHA guidelines states that trenches greater than 5-feet deep must provide cave-in protection.
Additional trenching and excavation safety requires based on OSHA rules include:
- Trenching boxes or shoring should be used to protect workers in trenches deeper than 5 feet
- Excavated soil and heavy machinery should be kept away from the edges of the trench
- Trenches must be inspected at the beginning of every shift and after every rainfall
- Atmospheric hazards should be tested, including hazardous fumes, toxic gases and low oxygen levels
- Excavation sites should be inspected and monitored by what is called a “competent person”, such that this person can identify and manage safety hazards at a site
- Sites should have safety access such as steps, ladders or ramps that will assure safe exit routes for workers
Trench accidents have a low survival rate for workers.
One cubic yard of soil, according to experts, can weigh approximately the same as a small vehicle. If a trench collapses on a worker, the 1 cubic yard is about 3,000 lbs.
With that said, it is imperative that injured workers or family members hold employers accountable when there are any safety violations resulting in serious harm. If you or a loved one have been made victim of failed safety procedures in the workplace, you need to call me today.
As your Ohio workplace accident attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (800) 556-4769.