A trench collapse accident in New York sent one man to the hospital with serious head trauma earlier last month. The injured construction worker was part of a team installing new sewer lines under the sidewalk in front of 1455 Grand Concourse. When EMTS arrived they found the man trapped under debris which had fallen from the trench wall. Eyewitnesses report the injured worker was lifted from the trench on a stretcher. He was then rushed to Lincoln Hospital where he was listed in serious condition.
While the FDNY refused to comment further, one eye witness on the scene told reporters that the construction worker’s “face was ripped open” by a rock or rocks that had fallen on top of him while he was handling a section of sewer pipe.
Trench collapse accidents are one of the most common in the construction industry. NIOSH research shows that trench collapses kill nearly 54 people per year nationwide.
Generally such accidents happen when the trench wall-or portions of it-are improperly constructed or aren’t safely supported and collapse. OSHA regulations state that any trench or hole deeper than 5 feet must have a safety system installed to prevent collapse. Additionally, workers must have easy access to enter and exit the trench. Larger trenches must also be designed by engineers to prevent collapse.
OSHA regulations also require that a trench of any depth must be regularly inspected at least once per day (at the beginning of any work) and after any incident that may have changed the stability of the trench wall (such as rain, heavy vibration from equipment or passing traffic, blasting, etc.).
No doubt the official investigation into this construction trench accident in the Bronx will take a hard look at whether or not these essential safety procedures were followed.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a similar accident, contact a New York trench collapse accident lawyer immediately. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 to learn your rights.