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Trenching and Excavation – Avoiding the Dangers

The construction industry is full of dangers, both visible and hidden. Whether it is unsecured electrical lines or a falling object, hazards lurk around every corner. That is why, every time you set foot on a job site, you stay alert and follow all of the required safety procedures.

Unfortunately, no matter how many precautions you take, sometimes it is impossible to avoid an accident while on the job.

If you have suffered a work-related injury, you may be wondering how you will pay the medical expenses, especially since you are losing out on pay due to missing work. Like many other workers that have had accidents on the job, you may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim for benefits. An experienced personal injury attorney in the New York area can help you file a claim or fight back against a denial.


The greatest risk involved with trenches and excavations are cave-ins. If a trench is not properly secured, a worker can be buried alive. Before stepping into a trench, take the time to make sure that protections are in place and that they are secure. Also, watch for falling loads from front-loaders or cranes, toxic gases and machinery operating in the vicinity.

Preventing cave-ins

There are number of techniques that employers can use to prevent cave-ins. Property sloping and benching the sides of the area under excavation will help, as will using supports to secure the sides of the site. Also, erecting a shield or temporary wall between the sides and the area where workers are present will also prevent injuries.

Protections from other hazards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that employers provide certain protections for other potential hazards as well. For example, to keep workers safe from falling or rolling objects, materials excavated from the area and equipment involved in the excavation, must be at least two feet from the edge of the trench. Warning systems must also be in place in order to keep workers and machinery from falling into or driving into open trenches. To avoid exposure to dangerous toxins, your employer must have the air tested before employers enter the area.

If you have suffered an injury while working in a trench or during the excavation process, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney in the New York area will help you file a claim and fight for the compensation you deserve.