Imagine working for a company that you trust. You get into a trench to work on your job, and then you realize it’s collapsing. You can’t get out quick enough, and now you’re left with injuries. You’re fortunate that you got out alive, as many in these situations don’t. Now, you can file for workers’ compensation to help you with your medical expenses and lost wages until you’re back on your feet.
Situations like that should never happen, but they do. In fact, a March 16 report talking about a trench collapse in Nebraska has stated that U.S. Labor Department officials are investigating. The collapse trapped a worker for around six-and-a-half hours as the emergency teams worked to free him.
The company, Utility Trenching, has been operating in Omaha for a decade-and-a-half, and it has four previous violations, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This time, it’s not clear if the company will face another violation on its record.
The news reports that a 23-year-old worker became trapped in knee-deep soil in a 12-foot-deep trench. It was early, at around 9:45 a.m. Half of the trench had collapsed, making it impossible for him to free himself. He was freed several hours later and taken to the Nebraska Medical Center. He reported that he had foot pain, but it was said that he was in fair condition. He was kept in the Intensive Care Unit following the incident.
Accidents like this shouldn’t happen, and they are completely preventable. If they happen to you, your attorney can help you work through the workers’ compensation process.
Source: Omaha World-Herald, “OSHA launches investigation of company digging trench that collapsed in Omaha,” Alia Conley, March 16, 2017