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The dangers of excavations on construction sites

At Foote, Mielke, Chavez & O'Neil, LLC, we have seen firsthand the devastating effects a construction site accident had on victims or their families. Construction is widely known as one of the most dangerous industries for those in Illinois, as well as the rest of the country. If you are a construction worker, you probably already know many of the dangers you face on a daily basis.

One of the most common hazards on a construction site is trenches or excavations, particularly when construction workers have not taken the proper measures to prevent fatal accidents. In a recent post, we discussed some of the most common safety violations to occur on construction sites. Trench violations was one of these. According to the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration, you would face numerous dangers working in an unstable trench or excavation. These might include the following:

  • Cave-ins, which make up the greatest risk
  • Falls or falling loads
  • Mobile equipment disasters near the trench
  • Hazardous gases or lack of oxygen

There are a number of protective measures OSHA requires before working in a trench. These include shoring a deep or narrow excavation with supports, cutting the walls at an angle to prevent cave-ins or using trench boxes. Additionally, daily inspections by someone properly trained in trench work are required. Unfortunately, these measures are not always taken or sometimes fail, resulting in hundreds of injuries and dozens of deaths every year. To learn more on the types of work injuries that may be fatal or result in long-term disabilities, click here to visit our page.

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