There may be employees in Pennsylvania who might benefit from learning more about how to prevent workplace deaths resulting from trench cave-ins, as described by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. In order to reduce the risk of these types of accidents from occurring, there are several recommendations employers can follow when planning jobs. Employers are advised to designate and train a competent individual in ensuring that the appropriate safety measures are taken while working trenches.
Utilities should be pot-holed and utility lines should be marked so employees are aware of the precise depth before they begin to dig. The soil may also be examined to assess its stability, since conditions can fluctuate dramatically within a few days’ time. Identifying safe locations around the worksite beforehand may also be effective in promoting employee safety. Enlisting competent people to obtain the appropriate protective equipment for the particular job, along with drafting a system and schedule employees can abide by, is also a recommended course of action.
Due to the complex nature of the work, employers are advised to exercise additional caution when digging or operating in trenches over 20 feet in depth. Employees should be trained on work practices and managing hazardous material in the language they understand best. The CDC also states that there should be an emergency action plan in place that explicitly describes the appropriate protocol for when an emergency occurs in or around a trench.
Employees who suffer an injury while working a trench might benefit by contacting a legal professional. Lawyers might be able to investigate the incident and help identify any parties who may be culpable for the resulting injuries. Legal counsel may also be effective in assisting injured employees with obtaining medical coverage that is sufficient, or wage benefits that are guaranteed by workers’ compensation laws.