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Worker killed in on-the-job accident when trench collapses

According to federal regulations, trenches that are dug to a depth of greater than 5 feet for construction, or improvement purposes must have proper support structures in place. Sadly, when these vital supports are not used, workers face peril from cave-ins or other hazards. There have been many South Carolina workers who have been injured in an on-the-job accident through no fault of their own.

Recently, first responders were called to the site of a construction zone near a park. According to the report, construction crews were working in a trench to access underground sanitation pipes to clear a blockage. The 15-foot trench collapsed and buried a 20-year-old worker. It was initially reported that the trench did not have the federally mandated supports in place that are intended to protect workers from these tragedies.

Emergency crews recovered the victim but he died as a result of the collapse. It is expected that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will conduct a thorough review of this fatal accident to determine the cause behind the cave-in. It is estimated that dozens of workers are killed in these types of incidents every year due to a lack of safety protocols. In addition to support shoring, every site is required to have a qualified inspector who can monitor conditions.

If the company carrying out the work is found responsible for this fatal on-the-job accident, it could face citations and fines for serious violations. It was unclear whether the company had obtained permits through the city to perform the work. The victim's family may apply for one-time death benefits through his state's workers' compensation program. South Carolina workers who have been injured or suffered a work-related illness may likewise qualify for benefits through this program. An experienced attorney can provide assistance in filing a  claim for all applicable benefits in a timely manner.

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