Pennsylvanians whose jobs require them to work in or near trenches need to be aware of potential hazards such work can present. Employers also need to make certain that they have implemented the required protections to minimize the chance that a catastrophic accident will occur.
One of the largest dangers of excavation and trench work is the potential for the trench walls to collapse and cave in on top of workers. If that happens, workers may be killed because of the crushing weight of the dirt. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, mandates that employers have wall protection systems in place to help prevent such accidents. OSHA also mandates that a designated safety worker inspect the systems daily to make certain they are still in good shape.
Workers also need to have a safe way to enter and exit the trench. Many injuries are caused by workers falling when trying to get in or out. Employers need to be certain that they have provided a safe way for their employees to do so. They should also have the ground surveyed by utility companies to ensure that workers do not accidentally uncover buried cables and get electrocuted.
When a person suffers from a serious workplace injury, he or she may have both mounting medical expenses and a loss of income. In order to help workers, the state mandates that employers provide workers' compensation insurance to cover their employees in the event they are injured or suffer an occupational disease. A worker may want to get help from a workers' compensation lawyer when filing their claim for benefits. An attorney might be able to help a client file a claim in order to seek compensation for injuries. This may help the worker avoid financial hardship caused by their workplace injury.