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A trench collapse could kill: Here's how to avoid one

As a construction worker, something that you worry about is the risk of a trench collapsing. You're often working in precarious positions, but you've been assured that everything that can be done to protect you is being done.

Avoiding a trench collapse is a must for people who are working in or around a trench. If the trench collapses, it could cause crushing injuries to workers or worse. There are ways to prevent a trench collapse, though.

Did you know that a cubic yard of soil weighs around 4,000 pounds? If that comes crashing down on you, it would be like being crushed by a pickup truck. Workers who are in a trench during a collapse could quickly be covered, crushed and killed.

How can you help avoid a trench collapse?

To avoid a trench collapse, the first thing you want to do is to make sure that the trench itself is reinforced and inspected. Even then, you should avoid entering a trench if it has recently rained, since the ground could be at risk of collapse.

Next, keep your equipment at least two feet away from the trench at all times, so that extra pressure is not weighing down on the soil near the trench. If there are materials you don't have room for at the site, then they need to be taken away.

If your trench is more than four feet deep, oxygen tests should be carried out to make sure that workers don't face oxygen deprivation. This is the second leading cause of fatalities in trenches that were not regulated.

These are just a few ways to avoid a trench collapse. This is one accident that shouldn't happen, and you can help avoid it. If you do suffer an injury, however, make sure that you get the compensation you need and deserve for medical bills, lost wages and other expenses and damages.

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