Brooklyn, New York Construction Trench Accident Attorney

Have You Sustained Injuries From a Trench Accident on a Construction Site in Brooklyn?

Each year, dozens of Americans are killed in trench-related accidents throughout the United States. Hundreds more were severely injured. Accidents involving trenches, such as cave-ins and collapses, occur frequently in Brooklyn and New York City. Inadequate supervision and failure to adhere to safety protocols are two of the most common causes of trench accidents.

A construction site is rife with dangers that could result in catastrophic accidents. A trench accident is one of the many dangers construction workers face. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the United States Department of Labor defines a trench as an excavation that is deeper than it is wide. When workers enter a trench, they expect it to be secure so that they do not need to worry about the potential of a cave-in.

When a trench collapses, workers face a high risk of crush injuries, asphyxiation, and even death, as one cubic yard of soil can weigh as much as a compact car. Employers are responsible for ensuring that trenches are inspected daily and appropriate safety measures are taken to prevent catastrophic workplace injuries.

Accidents involving trenches can include the following:

  • Cave-ins
  • Falls
  • Hazardous atmospheres
  • Falling loads
  • malfunctioning equipment

Brandon J. Broderick, a personal injury attorney with extensive knowledge of New York Labor Laws and OSHA regulations, can investigate a trench accident and determine if third-party negligence contributed to the resulting injuries. If negligence is a factor, victims and their families may be entitled to compensation for the damages they have suffered, whether it be medical expenses, lost wages, or wrongful death. If you or a loved one were hurt in a trench accident at a construction site in Brooklyn, call (877) 740-7603 for a FREE consultation.

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Why Do Trench Cave-Ins and Collapses Happen?

OSHA defines a trench as an underground excavation that is deeper than it is wide, with a maximum width of 15 feet. As the design of protective systems for a trench depends on the type of soil it is dug into, trenches are inherently unstable. Due to the fact that the type of soil can vary along the entire length, width, and depth of a trench, its stability can never be assumed and must be meticulously inspected at all times. This natural instability poses numerous risks, including but not limited to the following:

  • Misplaced Machinery and Soil: Employers and inspectors must be cautious about the amount of pressure placed on trench walls. Extra weight could come from heavy machinery or the pile of dirt (called a "spoil pile") that was excavated from the trench. To prevent cave-ins, OSHA requires that dirt piles be at least two feet from the walls of a trench.
  • Improper shoring or bracing: Trenches that are 5 feet or deeper require a support system. Depending on the depth of the trench and the type of soil in which it is dug, various protective systems (primarily sloping, benching, shoring, and shielding) can be implemented. Protective systems are the last line of defense for workers, so any errors in this area can frequently result in catastrophic trench collapses.
  • Rain and Water: Water poses a very high risk to workers in trenches and excavations. Not only does it add additional weight, but it can also shift the position of the soil, which can place unexpected strain on the trench walls and cause them to collapse.
  • Utility Lines: Trenches are frequently used to lay pipes, cables, and wires, which are frequently laid near existing structures. This necessitates that workers be informed of any existing water or gas lines in the area; otherwise, water or toxic fumes could potentially leak and harm trench workers.
  • Inadequate Access and Egress: Ramps, ladders, and stairs must be provided and free of obstructions for the use of construction workers. Ladders and other access structures must be placed within 25 lateral feet of the trench's workers. All trenches four feet or deeper must have these and additional means of access and egress.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a trench accident, you can rely on Brandon J. Broderick and our Brooklyn, New York trench accident attorneys for help and support. Dial (877) 740-7603 for a complimentary consultation.

Proper Trench Inspection MUST be Performed

OSHA mandates that trenches be inspected daily at the beginning of each shift by a competent individual with the training and experience to recognize the warning signs of an imminent trench collapse. This individual must also have the authority to immediately correct any issues they identify.

A competent inspector in accordance with OSHA regulations will be aware of these dangers and unique conditions and will be able to implement the necessary precautions to protect trench workers.

Let a Top Brooklyn Construction Injury Attorney, Brandon J. Broderick Help You With Your Trench Accident Claim

The Law Offices of Brandon J. Broderick, which represents victims of construction trench accidents in Brooklyn, New York, will fight for you to uncover any safety regulations or rules that have been violated, and they will assist you in filing a lawsuit against those responsible for your injuries. Our team of knowledgeable attorneys, staff members, investigators, and experts will thoroughly look into your case to make sure you receive the compensation to which you are legally entitled. Simply call Call (877) 740-7603. Free consultations are given, and cases are taken on a contingency fee basis.

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