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Trench Accidents

New York Trench Accidents Attorneys

Trenching and excavating expose construction workers to a high risk of fatality if protected systems are not put in place to guard against cave-ins. When a trench collapse results in serious injury or death of a loved one, talk to a lawyer experienced with construction trench accidents. Ask for a free legal consultation at our New York offices or at a location that is convenient for you.

A trench collapse or cave-in is the greatest risk associated with excavation work. If a cave-in occurs, the injuries are often fatal or catastrophic and may include asphyxiation due to a lack of oxygen, inhalation of toxic materials, fire or drowning.

  • Causes of a trench collapse: Trench collapses can occur for many reasons. Moving machinery near the edge of a job site excavation can cause a collapse of a wall within the excavation. A rainstorm or flooding from a broken water main could increase the risk for injury. Improper shoring or bracing can cause catastrophic injury to workers. Trench and excavation-related injuries can also occur if workers contact or sever underground utility lines.

  • Contractor and employer responsibilities: Contractors and employers must use protective systems that comply with state and federal laws for worker safety and inspect trenches daily at the start of every shift to ensure safety. They need to inspect trenching or excavation areas following rainstorms or flooding. They have an obligation to contact utilities and identify underground lines to guard against injury or death. Trench collapses can be avoided by daily inspections and strict adherence to plans and specifications.

  • Warning signs of trench collapse: Contractors and employers should be aware of warning signs associated with cave-ins such as tension cracks, changes in wall slope or bulge, bowing of struts, softening of the sidewall or visual deformation of the bracing system or trench. Contractors and employers must be aware of any changes in soil condition, must maintain proper slope ratio, and must guard against excessive vibration. They must be aware of rainfall and equipment location relative to the excavation, and must ensure proper installation procedures.

  • Trench collapse exit procedures: In addition to constant checks on the safety of a trench, the contractor needs to establish a plan for escaping a trench collapse and assure workers are trained in safety and have necessary safety equipment.
At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., you will meet personal injury lawyers who have the knowledge and experience to investigate trench collapse and other construction accidents. For more than 40 years, Bonina & Bonina, P.C.  has represented seriously injured workers by investigating accidents and filing appropriate lawsuits. We have successfully imposed absolute liability against contractors and owners who failed to comply with the laws protecting workers in trenches.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to a trench accident or an accident on a construction site, call for a free consultation so we can explain your options, and help you decide what actions you should take. At the law offices of Bonina & Bonina, P.C. we come to work every day believing that there should be equal justice for all.

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