Despite the emphasis programs for trench safety run by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, lives continue to be lost in cave-ins. The Los Angeles Fire Department recently reported one of many construction workers accidents involving the collapse of unsupported trenches. This time it claimed the life of a worker who worked in a trench at a residential property.
Reportedly, the incident occurred on a recent Wednesday. The worker was in a 10-foot deep trench when the partial collapse occurred. LAFD says the victim was covered up to his chest in the soil of the collapsed trench wall. The pressure caused by the weight of such a load is intense, and although his head was above the soil, the pressure on his chest restricted his ability to breathe.
Despite the efforts of rescue workers, the man in the trench succumbed and died after about 40 minutes — while still buried. Reportedly, the trench walls were unsupported, and rescue workers had to install supports to prevent further collapse before they could start the rescue. Cal/OSHA inspectors will investigate the accident to determine the cause of this fatality, and also the compliance with prescribed safety standards.
When lives are lost in construction workers accidents in California, the surviving family members are usually eligible for survivors’ benefits. Securing the services of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can provide valuable support and guidance throughout the benefits claims process. Death benefits typically offer financial assistance with the expenses related to end-of-life arrangements along with a financial package to help with day-to-day living expenses.