Construction Worker Dies in Trench Accident

by | Oct 15, 2020 | Construction Accident, Industrial Accident, Wrongful Death

A construction worker lost his life on Tuesday on a Trotwood, Ohio construction site. The worker, Martin Torres Lopez, of West Chester Township, was in a trench when a boulder fell on top of him.  When firefighters arrived at the scene, they found Lopez trapped between a pipe and the boulder.  Lopez was eventually freed from the scene, but lost consciousness thereafter.  Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigators will conduct an investigation into the deadly incident.  Lopez was employed by construction company Kelchner Inc.

Despite being a vital part of the economy, construction projects often pose severe hazards both to construction workers and to the general public.  Construction companies must ensure that work is regularly and properly inspected. Each construction project poses its own unique risks and hazards based on the work being done.  Risks that may present themselves during a project must be carefully evaluated beforehand.  When this does not occur, it can result in catastrophic personal injury or death. According to OSHA, nearly 6.5 million people work at approximately 252,000 construction sites across the nation every day. The fatal injury rate for the construction industry is higher than the national average in this category for all industries.

According to OSHA, trenching and excavation work is some of the most dangerous on a construction site.  OSHA standards require that trenches be inspected daily and as conditions change by a competent person prior to worker entry to ensure elimination of excavation hazards. A competent person is an individual who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards or working conditions that are hazardous, unsanitary, or dangerous to employees and who is authorized to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate or control these hazards and conditions.

OSHA recommends the following general trenching rules:

Keep heavy equipment away from trench edges.
Keep surcharge loads at least 2 feet (0.6 meters) from trench edges.
Know where underground utilities are located.
Test for low oxygen, hazardous fumes and toxic gases.
Inspect trenches at the start of each shift.
Inspect trenches following a rainstorm.
Do not work under raised loads.

According to a recent study by a business insurance analysis firm, 12 of the 25 most dangerous jobs as measured by the rate of people who die at work are in the construction industry.

Our experienced lawyers have handled personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits of all kinds and have the skills needed to represent the families of loved ones who have lost their lives or those who have been seriously injured as a result of the negligence of another party. The experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at Spagnoletti Law Firm can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one was a victim of an accident on a construction site.

Our lawyers have represented numerous workers who have sustained serious and catastrophic injuries on a job site as a result of the negligence of another party.  There are strict and short time limits on making claims, so please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or 877-678-5864 to learn more about your legal rights.

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