The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires all employers in Arizona to protect the health and safety of employees. They must provide work environments that are free of known hazards. Unfortunately, many construction accidents result from noncompliance with safety standards — often with devastating consequences.
Some of the most hazardous areas on construction sites are in or around trenches. A recent accident on a construction site near Sky Harbor Airport underscores that shortcuts are dangerous, even if some of the safety measures are in place. Phoenix firefighters recently rushed to the construction site after receiving a call about an on-the-job accident.
Upon arrival, they found a worker had fallen, headfirst, into an open trench with a depth of 20 feet. Even though the trench had the prescribed trench box to protect workers from cave-ins, it lacked any railing to prevent workers from falling over the edge. Firefighters used a Bauman bag and an aerial lift to pull the injured man from the trench, and to safety. He was fortunate to survive, and although only wrist injuries were reported, a headfirst fall could easily result in brain injuries.
Injured victims of construction accidents in Arizona are typically eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. They must report injuries to employers as soon as possible to set things in motion for a benefits claim. An experienced attorney can help with the navigation of any claims, including filing within the prescribed time limit. The state-regulated insurance program regularly pays the medical expenses for work-related injuries along with a portion of lost wages.