Preventing Excavation Cave-In Injuries and Deaths

Preventing Excavation Cave-In Injuries and DeathsLast October, construction company Bednar lost two of its employees as they were installing a French drain pipe on a New Jersey job site and they were trapped when the walls collapsed. It’s no secret in the construction industry that excavation and trenching are among the most hazardous tasks there are.

Of all excavation-related accidents to result in worker fatalities, cave-ins present the greatest risk, according to OSHA of the U.S. Department of Labor. In addition to reducing your New Jersey Construction Workers Compensation risks, as a manager of a construction firm or project, you should be doing everything you can to try to prevent injuries on your job sites.

How can this be done? OSHA Inspections reveal that lack of protective systems is the leading cause of trench-related fatalities. Proper planning for excavation projects is the first step in avoiding accidents that could lead to serious injury or even death. Construction managers and their staff must know as much as possible about the job site, as well as the equipment and materials that will be needed.

Construction site managers should ask themselves a few questions to ensure they are fully prepared for the task at hand. These questions include; Have all underground utilities (sewer, telephone, fuel, electric, water lines, etc.) been accounted for? Do construction workers have proper access? Will there be vehicular traffic exposure near the excavation site?

In addition to answering these questions, it’s important to note if water accumulation will be an issue; construction workers should never work in excavations where there is accumulated water, unless adequate precautions have been implemented; with a knowledgeable and experience person monitoring operations.

Water is not the only factor that can affect the stability of an excavation site; you’ll need to look at the stability of adjacent structures as well as the types of soil and loose rocks and soil. It’s also vital to remember that no matter how much planning and preparation takes place, excavation site safety awareness is a daily task; all excavations, adjacent areas, and protective systems should be inspected daily by a knowledgeable and experienced person to ensure a safe working environment.

At Tri-State Insurance Agency, we understand the risks faced by construction workers from Clifton to Wayne and beyond, and provide a complete suite of insurance products and services to the broad contractor segment. These coverages include property liability, NJ Construction General Liability, and other key coverages. To learn more about our products and services, please contact us today at (888) 990-0526.