Working in a trench is a dangerous profession, which is why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates specific safety standards for the job. Many dangerous situations can arise from neglecting these mandates, the most serious of which is a trench collapse accident. To best understand how one can neglect the OSHA mandates, you must first understand the mandates themselves. OSHA Trench Safety MandatesAccording to OSHA, an unprotected trench must never be entered. OSHA specifies three types of protection that may be used within a trench. These are:
- Sloping. Sloping the walls of the trench outward or creating a gradual decline of stepped bench grades on either wall provides greater stability.
- Supports. A support system made of beams, posts, or hydraulic jacks can be used to hold the walls in place; or
- A trench box. Trench boxes are, exactly as they sound, a protective box within which a construction worker may work, protected within the box from a cave-in or collapse.
In addition to these provisions, OSHA requires that all excavated materials and debris be at least two feet away from the trench’s edge. Construction workers must also have access to a laddered exit from the trench within 25 feet of where they are working.If any of these elements were missing from the trench involved in your trench collapse accident it may affect your Illinois personal injury claim. Speaking to an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer can help you determine liability for your trench collapse accident, including third party claims.Hiring a Chicago Personal Injury LawyerYou should be able to recover from your injuries without worrying about confusing court documents and filing paperwork. While you re-adjust to life after a Chicago trench accident, you can take comfort in knowing you don’t have to handle an Illinois personal injury alone.When you have the help of a trusted Chicago personal injury lawyer from the Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle, P.C. you’ll get expert legal advice and guidance concerning your long term needs. Contact us today for a free case evaluation – 312-263-1080.