Construction workers who have to work on excavations or within trenches face the risk of cave-ins. This is a serious matter that can be deadly, so companies must ensure they’re using proper safety protocols to keep the workers safe.
A primary hazard that these individuals face is that soil is very heavy. One cubic yard can weigh as much as a car. If a trench area collapses, that weight can crush anyone who is in the trench. It isn’t easy to get the soil off quickly and safely before the person suffocates.
There are many ways that companies can protect workers from these types of situations. Preplanning is a must when excavation or trench work is about to commence. There must be a competent person who in charge of the planning. This individual must be designated by the employer.
This person will conduct inspections on the protective systems and site. They will classify soil and monitor water removal. If necessary, they will design structural ramps. Taking the time to shore up the sides is necessary to protect workers’ lives. The competent person must also consider things like weather conditions and traffic near the work site.
Workers who are involved in trench or excavation cave-ins might need extensive medical care if they survive. This can be costly, and their injuries might prevent them from being able to return to work. Filing a workers’ compensation claim can help them to ensure that their medical care is paid for. It can also provide them with partial wage replacement for the time they have to miss work. If they aren’t able to go back to the same duties, they might be eligible for training to help them find a new job.