OSHA Combats Trenching Workplace Accidents Through Outreach

Pennsylvania’s construction industry is an important part of the state’s economy, but sobering statistics reveal that construction professionals are facing increasing workplace accidents, injuries and fatalities when trenching and excavating. From 2011 to 2016, 104 deaths have been attributed to cave-ins related to trenching across the United States according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number has grown over time with 2015 and 2016 seeing spikes in workplace deaths connected to trenching accidents. Unofficial union data also points to dozens of deaths being attributed to trenching cave-ins during 2017.

This has led the Occupational Health and Safety Administration to implement an outreach and education program designed to reduce and eliminate workplace accidents related to construction trenching. This program also includes enhanced enforcement of safety laws and regulations in order to increase safety compliance by employers and workers alike.

A number of trade union officials and representatives from construction industry organizations have spoken out praising the effort by OSHA to address growing concerns about trenching safety and workplace accidents. This looks to be positive news for the industry as it shows solidarity in combined efforts to reduce workplace accidents, improve working conditions and protect the rights of workers.

A workplace injury may lead to a number of hardships, including large medical bills and lost wages. In such circumstances, an injured worker may be due compensation from an employer in addition to any compensation required under the law. Workplace accident attorneys may be able to negotiate settlements or take a case to trial when fair expense compensation has not been received or when an employer is not forthcoming about the facts of a workplace injury. Attorneys who focus on workplace safety cases and workplace accident litigation may also offer injured workers the ability to receive additional compensation for distress caused through pain and suffering.

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