Open Trenches are Hazardous to Workers Across South Carolina
If you were injured in a trench accident, let our South Carolina construction accident attorney protect your rights
Construction projects usually require that trenches be dug for installation of electrical conduits, gas pipes, sewers, footings, or access to underground structures. Working in a trench is recognized as dangerous work, and the areas around trenches can be equally hazardous. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) requires that workers in trenches and excavations be protected and that safety and health programs address the variety of hazards they face. Trenching accidents and excavation cave-ins on U.S. construction sites account for an estimated 100 fatalities per year, and at least 11 times as many injuries.
Victims of serious construction site accidents such as trench or excavation collapses need the expertise and advice of a qualified South Carolina construction accident attorney at McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC, to examine their cases and explain the legal avenues for seeking compensation.
What makes trenches and excavations so hazardous?
Trench collapses happen often, and sometimes without warning. collapse trench or excavation may collapse:
- When defective or non-existent reinforcement fails
- When backfill material is deposited too close to the excavation site
- When soil shifts due to rain
- Because of improper preparation
- Because of improper maintenance
- Because of inherent instability (trenches are typically deeper than they are wide)
- Because of misplacement of heavy equipment or machinery.
Trench workers may also be injured or killed if proper safety precautions are not taken with regard to underground gas and electrical lines. Explosions and electrocutions from inadvertent severing of utility pipes and conduits are not uncommon.
OSHA provides guidelines for digging and maintenance of trenches for the purpose of minimizing the risk of collapse and recommends that trenches be inspected daily for signs of weakness. Bear in mind that a cubic yard of soil can weigh as much as a car, which makes the risk of being crushed or suffocating in a trench collapse high.
How can an attorney help me? I already have workers’ compensation coverage
Workers’ compensation may cover your expenses if you got hurt on the job. But what if your employer or a fellow employee had nothing to do with the collapsing trench? Suppose it was one of the many independent contractors you will find on almost any construction site that negligently caused the accident. If an investigation proves that to be the case, you may have recourse against that person or his or her employer as a “third party,” and may be able to receive additional compensation. The construction accident attorneys at McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC, are thoroughly experienced in handling these kinds of complexities.
Additionally, even if you do qualify for workers’ comp, your employer’s insurance company may deny your coverage or not adequately compensate you for your losses. In that event, you’ll need an experienced South Carolina construction accident attorney who fights to get you the benefits you so desperately need and deserve.
Strong legal representation from trusted South Carolina attorneys
The South Carolina construction accident lawyers at McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC, are committed advocates for individuals and families whose lives have been disrupted by injuries and deaths on construction sites. If you were injured, or a loved one injured or killed because of a trench or excavation collapse, let us help you obtain justice, and the compensation you deserve.
Contact McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC, today. Call 803-327-7800 and schedule a free case evaluation by an experienced South Carolina construction accident attorney, or fill out our contact form from any device. We proudly serve people throughout the state from offices in Columbia, Anderson, Rock Hill, Sumter, and Georgetown.