Trench/Excavation Injuries

Construction accidents cause more injuries than any other work-related incidents. This is in part because construction zones are by their nature unfinished and difficult to stabilize. Trench and excavation sites are especially onerous, and lead to thousands of injuries each year. If you are hurt, a New Jersey work injury lawyer may be able to help.

Trenches and Excavations Distinguished

Trenches and excavations are not one in the same. The distinction is that trenches are naturally occurring, while excavations are formed by man. A trench is by definition a narrow channel in the earth whose depth is greater than its width. Excavations can be dug that resemble trenches, and both are used in construction; this means, of course, that a New Jersey work injury lawyer may work with clients who are hurt in accidents in either.

Common Accidents in Trenches and Excavations

The dangers are many in these channels. As one may imagine, when earth is removed the trench or hole can be quite unstable; a piece of equipment operated too close to the trench can cause a cave-in. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that such cave-ins result in over 5,000 serious injuries to workers each year.

Among the more common causes of accidents at trench sites are:

  • Operation of heavy machinery
  • Power lines that are uncovered
  • Other underground utility lines
  • Vehicles passing close to the site
  • Ruptured gas pipes
  • Water which weakens the sides of the trench

Protecting the Site from Collapse

Employers are required to ensure that their workers are safe in these unstable areas. It is vital that certain protective measures are taken, including:

  • Shoring of the sides
  • Sheeting
  • Sloping the site
  • Shielding
  • Benching

Digging a safe excavation requires careful planning by professional engineers who specialize in soil and design. When an injury accident occurs because of inadequate or faulty design a New Jersey work injury lawyer can help.

If You Have Been Injured

If you are hurt on the job, you would do well to seek the assistance of a New Jersey work injury lawyer. Dan Matrafajlo is an experienced lawyer who will fight to help you gain compensation. Call 908-248-4404 today to arrange a free consultation.