Trenching and excavation workers on New York construction sites perform dangerous jobs with many potential safety hazards. While a cave-in is usually the first hazard that comes to mind when people think of this type of work, there is also the potential for asphyxiation, drowning, explosions and electrocution. To prevent serious accidents, workers need to rely on an appropriate protective system and a sophisticated safety plan.

Every excavation site is dangerous because excavating the ground creates an unstable area and a confined space. Even if the walls of an excavation site are properly shored up, workers that are inside are still exposed to all of the hazards that go along with being in a restricted space. Oxygen depletion, water accumulation and inhalation of toxic fumes are some of them.

Excavation site accidents can be avoided with careful pre-job planning and continued inspections while work is in progress. Soil conditions should be tested so that the right protective systems are used. In addition, the locations of utility lines should be identified and the excavation site should be tested for oxygen depletion and toxic gases. It is also important to ensure that an easily accessible entrance and exit route is always available to workers in an excavation site.

An eligible worker who was injured while doing a trenching or excavation project can file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Injured workers may pursue a claim regardless of who was at fault for the workplace injury. A lawyer who has experience with these types of matters can often be of assistance in ensuring that the claim contains all required documentation and filed in a timely manner.