While many in Massachusetts can identify jobs that have significant risks, some may be unaware of the risks faced by those who work in trenches. A collapse of a trench can often have serious consequences, as evidenced by a recent out-of-state incident. Two people were killed and a third was injured in a workplace accident that has resulted in a federal investigation.
The incident happened at approximately 5:30 p.m. on a day in early May. According to reports, three men were working in a trench described as 9-feet deep when it reportedly collapsed. One of the men was still visible, and he was extricated approximately half an hour later. While his current condition is unclear, he is expected to survive.
Unfortunately, the two other workers, ages 36 and 26, passed away as a result of the accident. The coroner’s office says that the cause of death for both men was asphyxiation caused by compression. While the cause of the collapse is unclear and remains under investigation, one official with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration claims that the leading cause of most collapses is related to the failure to follow safety protocols.
While OSHA works to determine the cause of the workplace accident, two families are left struggling to cope with the deaths of their loved ones. The emotional implications of such losses are clear; however, many families also face financial complications. As a result, states require employers to provide insurance coverage to protect workers and their families in the event of workplace accidents such as this one. Many in Massachusetts who deserve compensation due to such an accident seek the guidance of professionals with experience with the process to help ensure fair treatment.
Source: idahostatesman.com, “Nampa, Caldwell men die in Boise trench collapse”, Kristin Rodine and Erin Fenner, May 3, 2016