Most New Yorkers understand that there are risks associated with construction work. Construction workers often have to put themselves in danger in order to complete the job. However, some situations are unnecessarily dangerous because proper safety protocol is not followed.
On multiple occasions, this blog has highlighted instances where New York workers have been injured because a trench has collapsed. In these cases, workers are working in a trench or other large hole and the dirt has given way. The workers are seriously injured or killed as a result. Despite the frequency of these reports, people should know that these types of workplace accidents are preventable. With the proper precautions in place, the risk of trench collapse can be reduced or eliminated.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention provide many safety precautions that should be followed by employers to protect their employees from tragic accidents. First, employers need to take steps to keep workers safe. These steps include having the soil examined by an expert to determine the stability of the soil. This should be done frequently since soil conditions can rapidly change. Additionally, the job location should be structured around safely building a trench.
While the site safety is important, employers must also ensure that their employees are trained and aware of the risks and how to avoid them. Workers should be trained in trench safety and anyone under the age of 18 should be banned from working in a trench. Other elements of training may include having an emergency plan in place and ladders being no more than 25 feet away from any worker in the trench at any time.
When a construction accident causes serious injuries to a worker, that worker needs to know the their rights. Compensation for some of these instances may be able to be recovered depending on the circumstances. Seeking the assistance of an experienced attorney may help build a solid legal plan of action.