Considered an excavation activity, trenching allows construction companies to install structural supports, pipes, and other infrastructure components. The narrow and deep nature of trenches distinguishes this construction activity from other types of excavation. Accidents involving trenches tend to cause severe injuries and death. Our firm represents individuals and their families in all construction accidents involving trenching.
Types of Trenching Accidents and Injuries
Years ago, workers used handheld implements to dig with. Today, workers use heavy equipment to get the job done quickly and efficiently. Common trenching accidents include:
- Trench wall collapsing in on workers
- Heavy equipment falling into the trench on a worker
- Exposure to hazardous gases or fumes
- Failure to locate wiring beforehand (electric shock injuries)
- Malfunctioning trenching equipment
- Workers falling into a trench due to environmental hazards or carelessness
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the rate of excavation work fatalities is 112% higher than the rates for other construction activities. These accidents happen suddenly, and can cause immediate death or serious injuries, including broken bones, brain injury, spinal injury, internal bleeding, electric shock, or suffocation. Exposure to toxic fumes may also cause serious internal damage.
Workers’ Compensation and Lawsuits in Trenching Accidents
Every construction worker in the state of Missouri has a right to workers’ compensation coverage for on-the-job accidents. If you were following the appropriate safety regulations and were not engaged in negligent behavior, you deserve the full range of benefits provided under the terms of the policy. Our firm helps injured workers obtain fair compensation in a timely manner. We can help you appeal claim denials and negotiate with insurance representatives to ensure that you receive the best possible outcome for your injuries.
Unfortunately, workers’ compensation claims may not completely cover your income needs or the costs associated with your injury. At Douglas, Haun & Heidemann, PC, we always look at the facts of a case to determine liability issues. OSHA and state safety regulations clearly define standards for the construction industry. Employers are responsible for providing reasonable safety measures and adequate training for all employees who work in or around construction sites.
In addition to negligent employers, we also routinely file claims against equipment manufacturers for defective products. If other third parties may have played a role in your accident, we will explore every avenue for compensation. You deserve to have all of the costs of your injury, pain, and suffering covered so you can focus on healing.
Safety Tips for Trenching Activities
Around trenches that are deeper than 5, 10, or 20 feet deep, workers need adequate protective systems to reduce the risk of injury. Engineers should design and oversee the manufacturing of these systems. In addition to routine safety measures, workers can also reduce the risk of an accident by:
- Avoiding the use of heavy equipment anywhere near an open trench
- Reporting any hazards that may indicate a safety issue inside or around the trench
- Wearing appropriate safety gear in and around the trench
- Insisting upon regular testing for gaseous hazards inside the trench
- Refusing to work under hoisted loads near or inside the trench
Finding Legal Support after a Bolivar, Mo., Trenching Accident
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a trenching accident, you may need qualified legal support to help you through the aftermath. Our team understands the unique dangers and regulations governing trenching activities. We can help you obtain fair compensation and find closure after a serious accident. Douglas, Haun & Heidemann, PC has a 100-year legacy of providing high-quality legal support for injured individuals.
Don’t wait to consult an attorney. Waiting may increase your odds of facing insurance claim obstacles or provide the person responsible with an opportunity to cloud the evidence. Contact us today for more information about the next steps you can take after an accident caused by negligence.