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Trench entrapment: A high risk of injury or death 

On Behalf of | Sep 22, 2022 | Workplace Risks

If you are a construction worker, plumber or another laborer whose work includes digging ditches and trenches, you must be aware of the dangers you face on the job.

Even more importantly, you need to know how to prevent the conditions that lead to these catastrophic accidents. Below is some safety information about trench entrapment.

All trenches must be shored up

There are different ways of shoring up a trench depending on many factors. But all trenches must be shored. Common methods of shoring include hydraulics systems, timber braces and mechanical means. 

Some trenches are small enough that workers might attempt to leap across them. Never do this, as it could disturb the shoring system in place and cause a trench collapse. Always walk around a trench or use the constructed bridges for larger excavations.

Know the signs a trench might collapse

Any noticeable changes, like puddled or trickling water or fissures in the earth surrounding the excavation can indicate a collapse is imminent. Remain aware and observant of your surroundings and leave the trench to notify the competent person overseeing the excavation of your concerns.

You can be compensated for your damages

Trench collapses are often fatal incidents. Even when workers are rescued in time to be saved, their injuries can be so extensive that they are never able to work again. They could instead require 24/7 care for the rest of their lives.

Even when the injuries are not that serious, treatment is still costly. Filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits can get you both the medical care you need to recover and also the financial means to support your family while you are unable to return to work after a trench collapse.