Construction sites are some of the most dangerous work places, with the industry occupying 3rd place in the number of work-related fatalities every year. Most of these accidents are completely preventable, if only employers make provisions for proper training of workers and adequate safety measures. In one such preventable accident, a construction foreman in Cartersville, Georgia was killed earlier this month in a trench collapse accident.
James Hilbish was working in the trench as part of a sewer line installation on the 4th of February when the cave in occurred.The trench was reportedly 30 feet in depth, and at least 25 to 30 feet in length His body was found more than 3 hours later. Hilbish worked for an Alabama company which had subcontracted the job from the Bartow County Water Department. No other injuries were reported in the accident.
A trench collapse is one of the most dangerous of all accidents on a construction site. The process of heaping mounds of soil on top of the trench walls can lead to the wall becoming weak and unstable.Besides, the soil that’s piled high on the walls can quickly shift under provocation, and began to pour into the trench within seconds. When this happens, any workers inside the trench are at risk for death by suffocation. In most cases, attempts to rescue workers can be extremely difficult because of the speed with which such collapses occur. Rescue attempts are also made more dangerous by the fact that disturbing the soil further can trigger off more cave-ins.That’s why these accidents so often result in fatalities.
Atlanta Worker’s Compensation Attorney
Although trench work is dangerous in nature, employers can take steps to prevent a collapse. Precautions must be taken to stock the excavated soil away from the mouth of the trench, so that the soil, which can weigh tons, does not pose a hazard to the workers in the trench. Workers must also be provided ladders or some other protection systems through which they can make their way out of the trench in the early signs of a cave-in. Unfortunately, very often, employers fail to take adequate safety precautions in an effort to cut costs. Injured workers may seek the help of an Atlanta Workers Compensation attorney to help recover damages for their injuries. In case of a worker’s death, his family can file a lawsuit with the help of a Georgia wrongful death lawyer to recover funeral costs, lost wages etc.