Posted On: October 15, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

Trench and Crane Collapses Claim Construction Workers’ Lives

A construction worker died today in a trench collapse accident. The man was buried under five feet of dirt for nearly four hours before rescuers were able to retrieve his body.

The sewer trench that collapsed was being constructed for a Habitat for Humanity home that was under construction. Batallion chief Dave Rhodes says that heavy rains increased the chances of a spoil pile, which involves dirt that was dug up collapsing back into a hole. Rhodes says the dirt’s weight was approximately 3,000 lbs/cubic yards and that 32 cubic yards had been removed. He noted that steel plants or wooden blanks hadn’t been used at the construction site to hold back the dirt during digging.

Some 45 people worked to free the construction worker, who fell into the foot trench. Another man also fell into the trench but was rescued before emergency workers arrived.

Another construction worker died on Monday when he fell 125 feet during a crane collapse accident. The tall construction lift reportedly toppled over while it was on a sidewalk grate, striking an apartment building as it fell.

There are some reports that the gate gave way. Investigators are trying to determine why 40-year-old James Wilson wasn’t properly secured to the boom lift’s bucket.

Falling debris caused minor injuries to three others. One victim, a woman in her 70’s, sustained a broken arm.

Our Chicago construction accident lawyers and Illinois workers’ compensation attorneys represent the families of clients who were injured in construction accidents. Construction work can be dangerous work, and an experienced Chicago injury law firm can determine who is liable for your Illinois work injuries. Workers’ compensation and third party recovery is very important—especially if the construction injuries are catastrophic or fatal.

Also on Monday, a 19-year-old construction worker’s right arm was mangled when it got stuck in a portable mortar mixer. Isaac Lee was partially pulled into the machinery. The top of his head and his cheek were impaled, and he also sustained facial lacerations that were almost a half-inch deep.

onstruction worker killed in trench collapse, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, October 15, 2009

Worker’s arm mangled in mortar mixer accident, Justice News Flash, October 14, 2009

Worker dies in Philly after 125-foot fall,, Octobe 12, 2009

Related Web Resources:
US Bureau of Labor

Fatal Facts, OSHA

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