Sadly, some Pennsylvania workers are employed by companies that have little or no regard for employee safety. Fortunately, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration endeavors to protect the rights of workers by inspecting construction sites at which safety hazards may exist. A recent inspection at the site of a utility construction company might have served to prevent workers being from injured on the job.
Some of the most dangerous situations that workers have to face are trenches. Although OSHA provides clear guidelines on how to secure trenches, violations are widespread. During this inspection, the agency found that workers were expected to enter and work in an unsafe trench with a depth of almost 8 feet. To exacerbate the possibility of a cave-in, the strength of the trench walls was compromised by an accumulation of water in the trench.
An OSHA director said workers must never be allowed to enter trenches prior to ensuring that all safety aspects have been addressed. Furthermore, safe exit methods must be established before work in trenches commences. The company was cited for serious safety violations, and this will hopefully encourage the company owners to provide adequate safety precautions to prevent fatal trench collapses.
Pennsylvania workers may benefit from knowing their basic rights as employees. Being informed about the medical, lost income and other special benefits offered through the workers' compensation insurance program may prepare them should they become injured on the job. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the claims process may be complicated. For that reason, many injured workers utilize the services of an experienced workers' compensation attorney to pursue all applicable compensation.
Source: ohsonline.com, "Utility Construction Company Exposes Employees to Cave-in Hazards", Dec. 4, 2015