A Lack of Cave-In Prevention is How Costly?!
Without cave-in prevention equipment at your excavation site, it is an understatement to say you are taking a huge gamble. The first concern is the threat to workers' well-being, however, it is also important to know just how much a potential cave-in can cost you. This is exactly why this Workers Compensation article caught our attention.
The article details a case where an employer (Hassell Construction) knowingly put workers in dangerous excavating conditions. Even after digging one unlucky man out by hand, the trench collapsed again. This highlighted just how unstable the soil conditions were for the job site. Meanwhile, the cave-in victim sustained serious injuries and endured what must have been a lengthy hospital stay.
Got a Spare $424,000?
It may be easy to take shots at the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), but the fact is that cave-in prevention is desperately needed. Ask any family that has lost a loved one who died in a cave-in or ask those who have sustained debilitating injuries plaguing them for the rest of their life. Even minor injuries on such job sites are no laughing manner, as they will catch up with you and cost your company time and money.
In cases like this one, here are a few ways to look at it by the numbers:
- 16: the number of safety violation citations OSHA found against Hassell Construction
- 6: the number of "egregious willful violations OSHA cited against Hassell Construction
- $423,900: the penalties Hassell Construction faces just from OSHA (it is a near-guarantee that this will cost them in other ways, too)
- 112%: the fatality rate is 112% higher for excavation workers than general construction workers
- 2,500: the number of years man has known how to prevent deadly trench collapses (according to Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, Dr. David Michaels)
Take the Next Step with Cave-In Prevention
When we stop to make sure we're doing things the right way and taking action against unnecessary risk, we demonstrate respect for the fact that trench cave-ins are 100% preventable. There are long-established, basic precautions we can take -- even with small companies, where almost half of excavation fatalities occur.
We can help you get cave-in prevention and protect everyone involved while protecting your bottom line, too. It just takes one or one phone call to start.