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Why Do Cave-Ins Happen on Construction Sites?

There are plenty of obvious dangers on construction sites, such as falling from ladders, being injured by falling objects, or being electrocuted by uninsulated wires. However, one surprising source of injury on construction sites are cave-ins, which results in hundreds of injuries every single year. Here are some of the biggest reasons that cave-ins occur on construction sites:

  • Lack adequate protections against collapse
    • Many cave-ins happen on construction sites due to so-called trenching operations, when workers dig deep into the dirt for the purposes of excavation or construction. These trenches are often unstable by default, but can be shored up with processes known as sloping, shoring, and benching. If these processes are not done, or are not done competently, they can result in the trench collapsing, causing a cave-in.
  • Materials too close to trench
    • Another problem comes when people excavate dirt or other materials from a construction site, but don’t move it far enough away from the construction site. If these materials are kept too close, it is easy for them to simply fall back in if left alone, resulting in a cave-in. That is why construction materials and excavated dirt should always be kept far enough away from a trench to prevent this kind of accident, or else people working in the trench may be put at risk of harm.
  • Soil is stress-loaded
    • Even when reinforced, soil can only take so much weight at once, especially when it is undergoing certain types of construction operations. When soil gets overloaded by construction materials or heavy equipment, it can cause the soil to collapse under the stress. This, in turn, can cause trench walls or other construction to collapse along with it, resulting in cave-ins.
  • Failure to inspect after inclement weather
    • Storms are incredibly inconvenient to construction, and not merely because of the discomfort it can cause to work in the rain. Heavy rain can potentially flood a site, destabilizing the soil and causing it to slide or shift. This can make a previously safe area unstable, putting the area at risk of cave-ins, resulting in otherwise preventable injuries.
  • Vibrations from construction or traffic
    • Water is not the only thing that can destabilize soil. The vibrations from construction equipment, or even nearby traffic, can potentially upset the soil, causing it to shift, resulting in cave-ins. This is why construction sites that do work near highways and other heavily trafficked roads need to be cautious about cave-ins, which can potentially occur at any time.

If you or a loved one have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you should seek out the personal injury lawyers at Zlotolow & Associates. Our seasoned New York personal injury attorneys bring more than two decades of trial experience to your case. We serve all five boroughs of New York City, as well as Nassau and Suffolk County. Our aggressive personal injury attorneys always demand maximum compensation. We have helped thousands of clients recover through settlements and courtroom verdicts. To schedule a consultation, you can call us at 866-800-0092, or you can visit our contact page.

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