Excavation Accidents in NYC
Construction sites are a common sight in New York City, NY. Trenches must be dug on construction sites to bury electrical wires, conduits, and plumbing. Although they are necessary, trenches and excavation sites often pose serious risks to workers. Trenches often lead to catastrophic injuries and death.
Excavation site accidents are often confusing and result from the combined actions of multiple parties. The knowledgeable New York City workplace accident lawyers at Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. can help sort out what happened and fight to hold negligent parties responsible for the harm they caused.
Table of Contents
How Our NYC Workplace Injury Lawyers Can Help After an Excavation Accident
Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. is committed to helping New York City workers who have been injured on the job. A long line of satisfied clients and a lifetime of successful case outcomes precedes us.
Our NYC workplace accident attorneys can help with your claim by:
- Advising you of your legal duties and options
- Ensuring that you properly report your workplace accident
- Investigating who and what may have contributed to your accident
- Helping you file all relevant claims
- Answering all of your questions
- Guiding you through the claims process
- Negotiating for fair compensation on your behalf
We are conveniently located on Wall Street and offer free consultations. Our New York City workplace accident attorneys are available to take your call 24/7.
Common Causes of Excavation Accidents in NYC
Excavation work often involves cutting, digging, or moving earth with large excavation equipment. When dangerous tools, live electrical wires, and retained water are combined, catastrophic accidents can occur.
However, many of these accidents are due to the negligence of employers, site supervisors, contractors, and others who fail to comply with federal and state safety regulations. OSHA reports that at least two workers die in trench and excavation accidents each month.
Common causes of excavation accidents include:
- Falling rock or debris – Heavy equipment and debris can crash down into a trench when equipment is near the edge. These items can directly hit workers below or strike pipes or wires that lead to flooding or electrocution. Workers on heavy machinery can also fall or be crushed by the equipment.
- Trench cave-ins and collapses – Trenches can cave in and collapse, trapping any workers there and causing them to be buried or crushed.
- Falls – Unguarded trenches can lead to catastrophic worker falls.
- Electrocution – Workers may accidentally strike live underground wires and come in contact with the electrical current, resulting in serious electrocution injuries.
- Excavator tip-overs – The excavation machine can tip over and harm those near it.
An experienced NYC excavation accident lawyer can investigate the cause of your accident and determine who is responsible for the harm you have suffered.
Common Excavation Accident Injuries
While excavation accident injuries can take on nearly any form, some of the most common types of excavation accident injuries include:
- Fractures – Excavation accidents can result in multiple fractures and painful recoveries.
- Traumatic brain injuries – Traumatic brain injuries are common because equipment, tools, or debris can fall from heights to the workers in trenches below. Some brain injuries result in permanent cognitive impairment and loss of mobility and coordination.
- Paralysis – Head, back, or neck injuries can result in long-term paralysis or the partial or complete loss of muscle function.
- Toxic exposure injuries – Some excavations can release toxic substances, creating a dangerous environment for workers. Some toxic exposure can result in several health complications, such as cancer.
- Crush-related injuries – Workers who are crushed by equipment or debris can suffer shattered bones, crushed body parts, internal organ damage, and nerve damage.
These injuries can be very painful and can seriously impede injured victims’ ability to work.
How To Prevent Trench Accidents in New York City
Despite the dangerous nature of the work, trench accidents can be prevented.
OSHA has a number of standards that construction site managers must comply with to protect the health and safety of their workers, including:
- Keeping heavy equipment and excavated soil at least two feet away from a trench
- Testing for hazardous fumes, gasses, or low oxygen levels in trenches deeper than four feet
- Assessing the ground and identifying underground wires before digging a trench
- Providing trench workers with visible and protective clothing
- Providing trench workers with appropriate protective systems
- Providing trench workers with the appropriate shoring and bracing systems so that a trench collapse does not occur
If construction companies or other parties responsible for employees fail to adhere to these standards, they could be held accountable for the injuries that result.
Who Could Be Responsible for an NYC Excavation Accident?
Excavation accidents can be complicated because several different parties may be responsible for various aspects of the project.
Possible parties who may be responsible for excavation accidents and the resulting injuries include:
- The general contractor
- The company that controls the job site
- The property owner
- A third party responsible for surveying the ground
- The company responsible for hiring a negligent excavator operator
- The manufacturer of defective equipment
An experienced New York City excavation accident lawyer can help identify all at-fault parties who may be responsible for your injuries.
Contact Our NYC Workplace Accident Lawyers at Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. for Help After an Excavation Accident
If you or a loved one was injured in an excavation accident, the NYC workplace injury lawyers at Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. can help. Contact us today for your free case review.