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3 ways a construction trench can prove dangerous to workers

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2024 | Construction Accidents

If you work on construction sites you will inevitably come across trenches. You might even be the one digging them.

While trenches are essential for many construction tasks, they also pose a serious threat to everyone on site. Unlike some other hazards, their dangers can come from a variety of directions.

1. From below

If you are walking around a site, there is always the risk that you fall into any holes present. You could even fall into one when driving a vehicle. Employers must ensure trenches are hard to fall into by accident. They need to assume that a worker might be so engaged in something that they do not see it. Barriers and signs are crucial.

2. From inside

Your employer sends you down into the hole to continue digging. What they don’t tell you is that there is a high-voltage electricity cable or high-pressure gas pipe running just inches below where they want you to dig. One swing of your pick may be all it takes to cause serious injury or death if you contact the cable or pipe. Employers must research what lies underneath and take precautions such as disconnecting things to protect against accidental strikes,

They should also check for noxious gasses that might be present, and continue to monitor the situation.

3. From above

People are killed in trench collapses every year. Employers must ensure the walls are adequately supported and check they remain so throughout the work.

Another danger from above comes from other people. Someone driving machinery too close to the trench you are in could cause the soil to weaken so it falls in on you. If they drop something they are carrying it could roll down into the trench and land on you.

Construction companies can’t avoid the use of trenches, but they can reduce the risk to those working. If an accident occurs anyway, you’ll need to learn how to claim workers’s compensation.