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The Dangers of Trench Accidents in NYC

February 28, 2022
construction site

Dozens of firefighters scrambled to a Bronx construction site on December 16, 2021, to rescue a construction worker who almost died because of a trench collapse. The whole rescue operation took two hours. Fortunately, the firefighters managed to rescue the trench worker and remove him from the potentially deadly situation. Other workers who have been injured in various construction accidents haven’t been so fortunate.

While the worker was rescued, he suffered serious injuries and was transported to the hospital following the extraction. He was working on clearing a waste pipe when the trench collapse accident occurred and got buried up to his waist. He was the only worker inside the trench when it collapsed. This trench accident is an unfortunate reminder of how hazardous NYC construction work can be.

What Makes Trench Accidents Dangerous

Some of the most feared hazards associated with constructing trenches are collapses and cave-ins. These accidents can result in severe to potentially fatal injuries. In the trench collapse mentioned above, the construction worker was only buried waist-deep, which means that while he suffered severe injuries, he could still breathe even if he was trapped.

But the same can’t be said for construction workers who are crushed or buried completely after a trench collapse. If a worker gets pinned by heavy debris, they could suffer internal organ damage, life-threatening bruising, multiple bone fractures, spinal cord damage, amputation, and traumatic brain injury, among others. Also, if a worker gets buried completely, this can result in suffocation and death.

Various things can contribute to or cause trench accidents. Some of the more common ones include:

  • Trenches on weak foundations, such as previously disturbed soil
  • Trench walls that are not supported by trench boxes or shoring
  • Unsafe distance between the trench lip and spoil pile
  • Heavy vibration of the ground around the trench due to heavy construction equipment and passing vehicles
  • Heavy rainfalls or dry trench walls that weaken trenches

Injuries and fatalities from trench accidents are preventable when employees and other relevant entities conduct proper inspections and follow the safety standards set by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). Otherwise, injured construction workers can recover compensation for their trench accident injuries.

Get in Touch with a Skilled NYC Construction Accident Lawyer Today

If you have sustained injuries in a trench accident or another type of construction accident in NYC, you have all the right to explore the best options for recovering compensation for your losses. The legal team of Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman, P.C., can make certain that you get compensated, whether by filing a workers’ comp claim or a personal injury claim against the liable party.

When you work with our NYC construction accident lawyers, we will work hard to secure the settlement you need for paying off your medical bills and offsetting your lost wages. Learn more about your case by scheduling a free case review with one of our skilled NYC construction accident lawyers today. Send us a message online or call 212-285-3300 for more information.


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