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Construction Work Injuries in Trenching and Excavation


Construction work in Maryland, regardless of the type of construction work being done, tends to involve more hazards than many other kinds of work. Indeed, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, construction work is a leading cause of work-related injury and death, and the majority of fatal injuries result from falls and struck-by accidents. As more construction workers enter the industry, injuries in construction could increase. The CDC underscores that, over the last ten years, the number of workers employed in the construction industry has risen by about 25 percent.

Although excavation and trenching work is not responsible for a majority of construction work injuries, it is a particularly hazardous type of construction work. In short, although excavation and trenching work is not required as often as other types of construction work (such as roofing and scaffolding jobs), construction workers performing excavation and trenching duties are at a significantly high risk of a serious or deadly injury. What should you know about construction accidents in trenching and excavation? Our Maryland workers’ compensation lawyers can tell you more.

Understanding Trenching and Excavation Work 

In order to understand the risks involved, it is essential to learn more about what is involved in trenching or excavation jobs.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an excavation is defined as “any man-made cut, cavity, trench, or depression in the earth’s surface formed by earth removal.” Accordingly, excavation work involves the creation of these cuts or trenches in the ground through earth removal. A trench, differently, is “a narrow excavation (in relation to its length) made below the surface of the ground.” Usually trenches are 15 feet wide or less. Trenching involves work in these excavated areas.

Cave-In Accidents 

By far, cave-in accidents are the most common and most serious type of accident involved in excavation and trenching work. As OSHA explains, cave-ins are often more likely to result in worker fatalities than other types of construction accidents more broadly, as well as excavation and trenching accidents. There are OSHA standards in place to ensure that trenches are adequately protected and safety measures taken to prevent cave-ins, yet these deadly accidents continue to occur on construction sites.

Workers’ Compensation Injury and Death Benefits in Maryland 

Construction workers who have sustained injuries in excavation and trenching work are often eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. It is also important for surviving family members of construction workers to know that Maryland workers’ compensation does provide death benefits. These types of benefits are generally available when a surviving family member was dependent on the deceased worker.

Contact Our Maryland Construction Work Injury Lawyers 

If you sustained a serious injury in a trenching or excavation accident while working on a construction site, or if a loved one was killed in a deadly trenching or excavation accident, it is essential to find out about workers’ compensation coverage. Construction accidents in general are often among the kinds of accidents linked to the most serious types of work-related injuries, and trenching and excavation accidents are particularly dangerous. Contact an experienced Maryland construction work injury attorney at the Law Offices of Steinhardt, Siskind and Lieberman, LLC today to find out more about filing a workers’ compensation claim and seeking benefits.


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