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Trenching hazards and safety concerns

Missouri construction workers who work in trenches know how hazardous their jobs can be. In fact, it is considered to be one of the most dangerous jobs in the industry due to how much dirt can weigh if the trench collapses.

While working in trenches is inherently dangerous work, there are other factors that increase the risks. For example, some workers are not properly trained. Many construction firms also have a careless safety culture. Further, the lack of safety often also boils down to cutting corners in an effort to finish a project on time and within budget.

Even though the lack of safety can be prevalent, contractors and construction firms have been held responsible for trenching fatalities in the past. In 2015, a subcontractor pleaded guilty to manslaughter after a 22-year-old worker was killed when a trench he was working in collapsed. The job site foreman was sentenced to three years in prison. In a 2016 trench collapse that killed two workers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined the company $1.5 million for multiple safety violations.

Due to the number and types of hazards on construction job sites, injuries that are suffered are likely to be severe or life-impacting. Those who have been injured on the job site are generally eligible to seek workers' compensation benefits that can include the payment or reimbursement of medical bills as well as in some cases the restoration of a percentage of wages lost during the period when the victim was unable to work. An attorney can often provide guidance during the filing process.

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