Cave-ins and other trenching accidents take the lives of construction workers each year in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 271 people lost their lives in trenching accidents from 2000 – 2006. In the period immediately prior to that from 1992 – 2000, 488 people died in trenching accidents in the United States.
These statistics are important and give us an idea of just how dangerous trenching work can be for construction workers. However, each New York accident attorney at Hofmann & Schweitzer understands that for each person who died in a trenching accident died too soon, and many left behind grieving families.
Who is a Competent Person to Check New York Construction Trenches?
Construction trenches are dangerous places where serious accidents can occur. Accordingly, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that a competent person check trenches at least daily to see if they are safe and if potential accidents can be avoided.
According to OSHA, a competent person is one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards, who can identify unsafe, unsanitary or hazardous conditions for construction workers, and who has the authorization to take prompt corrective measures if a problem is detected. Typically, a competent person must be appropriately trained in trench work and have the backing of the employer to make necessary changes.
Our experienced New York construction lawyers know that trenching is dangerous work, but we also know that most trench accidents are avoidable. If you have been hurt in a New York construction accident, you may be entitled to a potential recovery. Please contact a New York construction attorney today at 1-800-362-9329 to schedule a free consultation, and please read our FREE publication, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You're Not Alone, to learn more about your rights.