Atlanta Trenching Accident Attorneys
Trenching and Excavation Accidents
Trenching and excavation are used for many purposes on a construction site, including laying foundations and footings, connecting sewer systems and septic tanks, and attaching public electricity grids and water supplies. But trenches and other types of excavation can also be hazardous to workers on a site and cause serious injury and death.
If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in a trenching or excavation accident, you may be entitled to compensation for some or all of your losses. To find out more about your legal rights and options, you’ll want to contact an experienced Georgia construction accident attorney. Atlanta’s Grant Law Office has been successfully representing injury victims for over three decades, and we will put our skills and knowledge behind your claim. Call today for a free case evaluation at (404) 995-3955 or (866) 249-5513.
Types of Trench and Excavation Accidents
The following are some of the more common causes of injury and death related to trenching and excavation on construction sites:
- Trench collapses, cave-ins, and sidewall collapses: Collapses and cave-ins can bury a worker, resulting in suffocation.
- Falls into trenches and excavation sites: Falls can result in broken bones, internal organ damage, and traumatic brain injuries.
- Objects falling into trenches and onto workers below: Tools, building materials, heavy equipment, and other workers may fall into a trench or other depression in the ground if safety measures aren’t taken.
- Toxic fumes and gas leaks: These often occur when a gas main is broken during excavation and workers aren’t able to evacuate in time.
- Flooding: A sudden rainstorm or breaking of a water main can result in drowning or electrocution.
- Electrocution from exposed wires: This often occurs when workers or contractors don’t confirm that they aren’t digging in an area where underground wiring is present.
Guidelines for Preventing Trenching and Excavation Accidents and Injuries
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other job safety advocates recommend the following practices to prevent trenching and excavation accidents and injuries. Employers and site supervisors must:
- Locate underground utilities before digging.
- For large and deep trenches and excavations, have a soil study conducted beforehand.
- Keep heavy equipment and other heavy things, such as building materials and excavated earth and debris, away from the edges of an excavation or trench.
- Identify any other sources that may affect trench or excavation stability and cause a collapse or cave-in.
- Inspect trenches and excavations at the beginning of each shift.
- Inspect trenches and excavations after rainfall or other form of water exposure.
- Inspect trenches after any occurrence that may change the stability of an excavation or trench, such as a mild earthquake.
- Regularly test for toxic gases, hazardous fumes, and low oxygen levels.
- Do not work beneath suspended loads.
- Install shoring when needed.
- Ensure all workers wear head protection when working in trenches or excavations.
- Mark or rope off trenches and excavations adequately, and install guardrails around deeper depressions.
- Always provide escape mechanisms, such as ladders and ramps.
If You’ve Been Injured in a Trenching or Excavation Accident, Call Us
According to OSHA, trenching and excavation accidents kill two workers each month in this country, and injure hundreds each year. If you’ve been injured or lost a family member in a trench-related accident, you may be able to recover for such losses as medical bills, lost wages, permanent injury, pain and suffering, wrongful death, and more from the liable parties. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, these parties may include the construction site owner, the general contractor, subcontractors, suppliers, engineers, design professionals, managers, construction foremen, and more.
Construction injury and wrongful death claims tend to be complicated because they often involve multiple parties and their insurance companies. To ensure that you get compensation worthy of your losses, you’ll want to contact the experienced Georgia construction accident lawyers at Grant Law Office. For a free consultation, call (404) 995-3955 or (866) 249-5513 today.