Safety authorities report that the number of trench-related fatalities nationwide, including in Illinois, increased at an alarming rate over the past two years. They say that most of these lives were lost in construction accidents on residential properties rather than in road construction zones and pipeline dig sites. Residential projects that involve repairs or laying new sewer lines or water pipes proved to be most hazardous.
Employers in Illinois and across the country must protect employees from harm in the workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes regulations for all industries, and compliance can prevent any work-related accident. However, many workers are exposed to life-threatening hazards every day because their employers fail to provide work environments that are free of known dangers.