In May, OSHA fined Alabama company All Power Construction Corp for the death of a temporary worker who was installing sewer lines. When the trench he was working in collapsed, he suffered fatal injuries.
This incident should have been prevented by having proper safety measures in place. OSHA cited All Power Construction Corp for failing to safely secure workers’ means of exiting and entering the trench, and failing to have a knowledgeable person inspect the trench for safety issues.
The Birmingham OSHA Area Office Director said that this incident “could have been prevented if the employer followed the necessary steps to ensure that protective systems were used.”
What makes excavation work so dangerous?
All construction work is dangerous, but excavation and trenching are some of the most dangerous jobs on a construction site. Workers are at risk for injury from:
- Cave-ins and trench collapse
- Equipment collapse or malfunction
- Electrical wires above and below ground
- Worksites that are near traffic
- Lack of safety procedures and equipment
- Lack of worker training on safety procedures
Any of these issues may cause serious or fatal injuries. Employers and negligent third parties may be held responsible for injuries and deaths.
Seeking compensation for losses from a work accident
Families who lose loved ones in a work accident can seek death benefits from workers’ compensation. In addition, they may be entitled to seek compensation from negligent third parties. In a construction accident case such as this, that may include contractors and subcontractors, staffing agencies and manufacturers of faulty equipment.
Each case is unique, however. Construction accident cases are typically quite complex, so it is a good idea to speak with a lawyer if you have questions.