Excavator Injuries in Construction Work
Excavation work is some of the most dangerous type of work that occurs in construction, and workers can be crushed in fatal accidents or severely injured by excavators if critical safety measures are not taken and protocols are not followed. Were you recently injured while working construction because of an excavator? Our West Palm Beach workers’ compensation attorneys are here to help you seek the workers’ compensation benefits you need.
What Is an Excavator?
What is an excavator? According to BuildWitt, there is almost always at least one excavator “on virtually every construction site.” These powerful tools are “large industrial machines used to move large amounts of material, like rock and soil.” They have a bucket and a moveable boom, and they are often on either tracks or wheels. They can be used to dig building foundations, trenches, and pools. They can also haul soil, gravel, and other materials. Excavators can also be used to load trucks that are hauling materials onto and off a construction site. In addition, excavators can sometimes be used for demolition work, tree cutting, and breaking down construction machinery.
Safety Requirements for Excavators on Construction Sites
While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) may not have always had specific construction standards concerning the use of “wheel or track propelled excavators,” OSHA addressed the safety requirements for use of swing radius excavators early on, and it has made clear that the use of any type of excavator on a construction site is subject to general construction hazard guidelines, as well as safety recommendations and regulations concerning the processes of trenching and excavation on any construction site. OSHA has specific regulations concerning excavation requirements, including safety regulations pertaining to:
- Locating underground utility installations that could be encountered while performing excavation work, such as sewer, electric, fuel, telephone, and water lines;
- Contacting utility companies to locate underground lines and to establish exact locations;
- Protecting and supporting underground installations;
- Removing underground installations when necessary for employee safety in performing excavation work;
- Designing structural ramps to be used in excavation work;
- Locating means of egress in trench excavations;
- Supplying safety gear for visibility when excavation work involves exposure to vehicular traffic;
- Preventing employees from being exposed to falling loads in excavation work;
- Establishing and using warning systems;
- Testing potentially hazardous atmospheres and materials where excavation is to occur, and taking adequate precautions; and
- Addressing safety issues related to water accumulation in excavated areas; and
- Providing safety equipment and plans for excavation involving buildings or structures with stability concerns.
These are just some of the safety issues addressed in OSHA regulations related to excavation work. When a safety issue occurs and a worker gets hurt while using an excavator or while engaged in excavation work, it may be possible to obtain wage replacement benefits, medical care, and more through the workers’ compensation system in Florida.
Contact a West Palm Beach Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Were you injured in an accident on a construction site involving an excavator? Whether you were injured while performing trenching and excavation work, or in another capacity while doing construction work, one of the experienced West Palm Beach workers’ compensation lawyers at the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A. can help you. We are committed to assisting injured workers as they seek workers’ compensation coverage, and we can begin learning more about your case today and helping you to obtain the benefits you need.