Lee M. Schwalben, M.D., J.D., LLC
Personal Injury Law
Admitted to practice in Louisiana, New York, New Jersey and *Florida
Free Consultation
Lake Charles 337-494-5757 Baton Rouge 225-763-7777 Toll Free 855-755-5757

Construction site accidents involving trenches are not uncommon

Many of the duties construction workers perform here in Louisiana and across the country put their lives at risk, which is why safety procedures, policies and equipment are so important. When the safety regulations enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are not followed, construction site accidents can cause serious or fatal injuries to workers. For example, a trench collapse is often preventable if the proper safety equipment is in place.

However, that equipment was not in use on July 7, 2015 when a man died after the trench he was working in collapsed. According to OSHA, the bridge repair company was recently cited for willful violations in the aftermath of the accident and received fines in the amount of $140,000. The company was also placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

However, this Pennsylvania company is not the only one cited due to trench collapses in recent years. Contractors in Alaska, Texas and several other states across the country also received citations and fines in connection with this seemingly pervasive problem. Workers have been buried in soil or drowned in water because the proper safety measures were not in place.

Some workers survive these construction site accidents, but others do not. In either case, workers' compensation benefits are available for the injured or the families of those who lost their lives. Obtaining these benefits can be a complex and frustrating process. It would be beneficial for anyone injured in a work-related accident -- or the family of someone who died in one -- to seek the advice and assistance of counsel familiar with the Louisiana workers' compensation insurance system to help ensure that all of the benefits needed are received.

Source: constructiondive.com, "OSHA fines PA contractor $140K after trench collapse death", Kim Slowey, Jan. 5, 2016