Tennessee Construction Injury Law: Retaining Wall & Trench Collapse
The construction industry is home to a host of workers who can often expect to be working around retaining walls and/or inside trenches. Retaining walls are solid structures used for retaining soil on both sides of an uneven slope. On the other hand, trenches are long, confined excavations in the ground which are often used in construction as well as infrastructure maintenance like planting telephone lines or laying pipes. The experienced construction injury attorneys at InjuryTN understand that this is dangerous work, and even a single structural flaw has the potential to result in the fatality of a worker.
In reality, excavation cave-ins make up a majority of all work-related deaths on construction sites in the U.S. The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration has reported the risk of death for those working in sites of excavation exceeds 100% more than accidents falling under the category of general construction. Suits filed as a result of retaining wall or trench collapses can be intricate, and expert witnesses should be experienced in multiple areas of engineering and construction.
Dangers of Retaining Wall & Trench Collapses
Recent years have shown countless instances of retaining wall and trench collapses throughout the US, even with the rules and regulations that have been established for their prevention. Proper construction of both retaining walls and trenches takes ample amounts of time, expertise, and effort – none of which are inexpensive. Unfortunately, that’s exactly why so many employers are unable to heed necessary precautions to ensure the safety of their workers. Retaining wall and trench collapses often become deadly due to the sheer size and weight of the ground that falls on top of workers. The risks involved with the construction, maintenance, or of retaining wall and trench collapses may include some of the following:
- Inhalation of toxic fumes
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OSHA Regulation on Excavation & Trenching
OSHA’s rules, regulations, and requirements for excavations in construction establish that these sites should be appropriately inspected, have safe entrance and exit routes as well as adequate ventilation with suitable protective support systems. The infractions upon these laws which most commonly result in injury may include:
- Lacking adequate protective systems for workers
- Employer’s inability to provide thorough inspection of the retaining wall, trench, or protective system.
- Improper placement of the spoil pile
- Unsafe or otherwise insufficient points of entry and exit
Experienced Construction Accident Attorneys
Every year, OSHA reports numerous deaths and injuries caused by retaining wall and trench collapses. That’s why safety regulators always suggest that workers avoid entering unprotected trenches, particularly those whose depth exceeds 5 feet. Any heavy machinery and equipment on the site near trenches and retaining walls needs to be stored and used away from ledges, and both trenches and retaining walls should be thoroughly examined prior to every shift as well as after severe weather to ensure their structural integrity.
Contact InjuryTN by phone at 615-640-HURT or fill out a contact form online to schedule your free and confidential first consultation with an accomplished Tennessee construction accident lawyer to find out how we can start protecting your rights! All personal injury cases are taken on a contingency basis, meaning no costs or fees will be charged until we win the case.