If you are a construction worker or laborer who does excavation work on your job, you face the danger of trench entrapment. While all construction work carries inherent risks, those working to excavate trenches face a higher risk than many on construction sites.
Do you realize that a single cubic yard of dirt is as heavy as some cars? Imagine being buried under many cubic yards of heavy soil, and you begin to get a clearer picture of the dangers you can face simply showing up to do your job.
The role of your employer in safety protocols
Ultimately, your employer bears the responsibility to make sure that all workers are properly trained in excavation safety. They must instruct them how to avoid deadly cave-ins by having the trench workers adequately shore up the sides of the excavation sites.
But their responsibility doesn’t end there. Each day of work, the conditions in and around the excavation site must be carefully assessed to determine if there are dangerous conditions that would affect the safety of those working at the site.
What else can go wrong?
Unfortunately, there are many different ways that an excavation site can turn deadly. For instance, if a heavy vehicle is parked too close to the lip of the trench site, or if heavy materials are stored too near it, the weight could cause a collapse.
Weather, too, can increase the danger. Water-soaked soil is heavier and destabilized, meaning that workers in the vicinity could face an enhanced risk of a trench collapse.
Can you survive a trench collapse?
Trench collapses are frequently fatal, but there are instances where workers were able to rescue some of their co-workers in time to save their lives. If you are one of those lucky survivors, you may have life-long, disabling injuries and no longer be capable of working. Seeking workers’ compensation benefits may be necessary after a trench collapse. Find out more about your options today, and don’t be afraid to reach out for legal guidance.