Excavation Injuries At Work
Construction work can pose many different risks for workers, from dangers associated with falls from roofs or scaffolding to struck-by injuries caused by falling objects on construction sites. Excavation accidents are often deadly, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but they can also be avoided with proper safety precautions. When an excavation or trenching accident does occur on a construction site, the injured construction worker or his or her surviving family members may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim in order to seek compensation. Our South Florida workers’ compensation lawyers are here to help.
Learning More About Trenching and Excavation Injuries
There are a wide variety of accident types that can occur on construction sites, including excavation and trenching accidents. What are trenching and excavation accidents? Excavation or trenching accidents typically occur when a construction worker is using machinery to cut the earth’s surface with machinery, and a cave-in or wall collapse occurs. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) explains that trenches are made and excavation work is frequently done so that pipes or cables can be laid in anticipation of a larger building project on the site. Since trenches are constructed and excavation work is often done underground or below the surface, cave-ins are often deadly.
According to an article in EHS Today, 130 excavation-related work fatalities occurred between 2011 and 2016, and about 80 percent of those deaths occurred in the construction industry. Common causes of trenching and excavation accidents include but are not limited to the following:
- Lack of proper training to use excavation machinery;
- Underground utilities exploding;
- Poor weather conditions that make a cave-in more likely, particularly rainy conditions;
- Improper shoring of an excavation area; and
- Failure to take into account OSHA safety protocols for safe trenching and excavation work.
How to Seek Financial Compensation After a Trenching or Excavation Accident
If you were injured in a trenching or excavation accident, or if you lost a loved one in a fatal trenching or excavation accident, you should begin working with an experienced Fort Lauderdale workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible to file a workers’ compensation claim. The general steps for seeking benefits through the Florida workers’ compensation system are as follows:
- Report the accident to your employer as soon as possible, but within 30 days from the date of the excavation accident;
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible, ensuring that you see a healthcare provider approved by your employer unless you need immediate emergency medical treatment;
- Get help from an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Fort Lauderdale as soon as possible; and
- Apply for workers’ compensation benefits by providing necessary information to the insurer about the injury and your medical records.
One of our workers’ compensation lawyers is available to assist you with your workers’ compensation claim.
Contact Our Fort Lauderdale Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Today
If you were injured in a trenching or excavation accident on a construction site, or if you were injured in any other way while working, you should speak with an experienced Fort Lauderdale workers’ compensation attorney for assistance. Contact the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A. today to learn more about the services we provide to injured workers in South Florida.