Three men suffered serious injuries on the job after the trench in which they were working caved in on them. According to a report in the Los Angeles Daily News, the construction accident occurred at 12130 W. Keswick Street in Sun Valley the afternoon of November 29, 2011. The three workers were buried up to their waists. They were rescued by firefighters and transported to an area hospital. One of the workers is said to be in serious condition and the other two are reportedly in fair condition. Officials are looking into what caused this cave-in.
My thoughts and prayers are with these injured construction workers. I’m relieved to hear that they were rescued in a timely manner. I wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. Please keep them in your prayers.
Trench Cave-in Statistics
Trench accidents and cave-ins cause catastrophic injuries and very often, death. According to Cal-OSHA’s web site, between 2001 and 2005, 26 Californians have been killed in trench-related injuries and 207 were injured in such incidents. The most common cause of such accidents is failure on the part of the contractor to properly shore up the trench or provide adequate supervision.
What Caused This Accident?
This news report does not clearly state how or why this trench cave-in occurred. There are several unanswered questions here. Was the trench properly shored? Was there a dangerous condition on the property? Were the workers trained for the job? Were they being properly supervised at the time? Did the company or contractor that was doing the trenching have a permit from the Department of Occupational Safety and Health, as required under state law? Were the contractors on the project conducting daily inspections with regard to the safety systems in place and paying attention to soil stability and weather patterns? I trust OSHA investigators are looking into how or why this cave-in occurred and whether any safety standards were violated.
Claim for Compensation
Injured workers in such cases would be well advised to contact a knowledgeable Los Angeles personal injury lawyer who will be able to determine if they can file a “third-party claim” in addition to seeking workers compensation benefits from their employer. Such claims are usually filed against a party other than the employer whose negligence caused or contributed to the incident. Examples of third parties are general contractors, construction companies, sub-contractors, property owners and manufacturers of defective products. The best personal injury law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured workers and their families.