Prepping building sites for residential and commercial construction are among the most difficult tasks for construction workers. While framing, sheet-rocking, electrical, and plumbing are reasonably consistent from job to job, the unique nature of each parcel of land means that each prep job is different. Long-time construction workers can tell stories for hours of the various difficult types of terrain they have encountered. Underground streams, granite formations, and other problems are lurking just below the surface. Shaping the land to meet the requirements of the architect’s design frequently requires moving large amounts of dirt, rock, and other substances.
Unfortunately, these naturally occurring substances are frequently heavy, and during any job, there are times where these heavy objects are secured in a variety of temporary ways. Whether digging trenches, excavating, or clearing space for retaining walls, construction workers find themselves at the recurring risk of danger due to the collapse of whatever temporary (or even permanent) structure is supposed to hold these materials in place.
These incidents are always dangerous, but certain situations are more dangerous than others, such as when the rocks or other debris are being suspended above the head level. If one of the objects falls, a significant head injury is often the result. Head injuries can have long-term consequences such as Traumatic Brain Injury or even death.
Another significant risk factor is when the amount of debris being suspended is significant. In these cases, structural failure or trench collapse can result in a worker being crushed to death. These types of accidents remain all too common, as evidenced by the February 2nd incident in North Carolina where a worker was crushed to death when a trench collapsed.
One of the highest risk factors is when explosives are needed at certain job sites, usually to deal with rock formations that cannot be expeditiously dealt with using manual methods. Anytime dynamite is used, the risk of debris-related injuries is high.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a construction accident, due to falling debris, trench collapse, use of explosives, or any other type of incident where protocols might have resulted in a different outcome, please contact a qualified attorney. The risk factors in these situations are very high, and any type of negligence must be addressed to prevent future workers from being placed at a similar risk.