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AVOIDING TRENCH COLLAPSE ACCIDENTS IN INDIANA

By John Daly on February 27, 2012

Your Indiana Construction Accident Lawyer in Indianapolis has never seen a small trench collapse accident.

Tragically, most trench collapse accidents result in the worker being either paralyzed or killed.  Trench collapses usually occur when the general contractor fails to provide or require trenching boxes. In addition, requiring laborers to "work outside the box" can have fatal consequences, resulting in the wrongful death of the construction worker. It is common for excavators to pile dirt too close to the edge, thereby putting too much weight on the edge of the trench and causing the walls too collapse. Lack of consideration of soil conditions, a lack of a ladder to get into and out of the trench and failing to tier back the sides often combine to lead to trench collapse accidents in Indiana. Here are some trench collapse accident prevention pointers from IOSHA and OSHA.

Two workers are killed every month in trench collapses. Each worker in a trench shall be protected from a cave-in by an adequate protective system. Some of the protective systems for trenches are:

            •           Sloped for stability; or

• Cut to create stepped benched grades (Type A or B soil only); or

            •           Supported by a system made with materials such as posts, beams, shores or planking and hydraulic jacks; or

            •           Shielded by a trench box to protect workers in a trench.

Excavated or other materials and equipment must be at least 2 feet back from the edge of a trench; and

A safe way to exit must be provided within 25 feet of workers in a trench.

A competent person must inspect trenches daily and when conditions change. An unprotected trench is an early grave. Do not enter an unprotected trench.

For more information:

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

U.S. Department of Labor

www.osha.gov (800) 321-OSHA (6742) TTY (887) 889-5627

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