Worker Partially Buried In Williamsburg, Brooklyn Trench Collapse Accident Along Flushing Avenue
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK (July 28, 2023) – A plumber was injured after being partially buried in a trench in Williamsburg, Brooklyn along Flushing Avenue.
New York City police officials are saying that the accident took place around 9:44 a.m. on Tuesday. A plumber was working on the excavation phase of a 6-story construction project.
He was trying to gain access to a foundation wall in order to lay piping. At some point during his work, the soil collapsed around him and pinned him against the wall of the trench from the waist down.
Around 60 firefighters were called to the scene of the Williamsburg construction site. After around 45 minutes of work, the plumber was removed from the trench.
Paramedics took him to the hospital with serious injuries. The Department of Buildings issued a partial stop work order as a result of the collapse.
Liability For Brooklyn Trench Collapse Accidents
The years 2019 and 2020 were particularly deadly for construction workers digging trenches. According to one report from Equipment World, 2019 and 2020 are tied for the second deadliest year for trench collapse accidents in the last decade. The leading cause of trench collapses remains inadequate cave-in protection. There are many other factors that could potentially contribute to a trench collapse.
- Stress on the top layer of soil above a trench could inadvertently lead to a collapse.
- A construction company may have failed to inspect the walls of a trench.
- Trenches tend to be particularly unstable after it rains.
A construction company could be liable for a trench collapse under New York Labor Law 200. This statute is a codification of an employer’s obligation to provide workers with a reasonably safe environment. Pursuant to NY Labor Law 200, “All machinery, equipment, and devices in such places shall be so placed, operated, guarded, and lighted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection to all such persons.”
Liability may also exist through New York Labor Law 241(6). Owners and general contractors must “provide reasonable and adequate protection and safety to the persons employed therein or lawfully frequenting such places.” In particular, a violation of a safety code could create liability. With respect to trenches, New York Industrial Code Section 23-4.2 requires the walls of any trench that is five feet or deeper must be properly shored and braced with sheeting in order to prevent collapses. Victims of trench collapses tend to suffer very serious injuries including:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Organ damage
The vast majority of trench collapses are preventable and involve some amount of human error. In particular, companies tend to cut corners when they are over-budget or behind schedule. Any person that is injured in a trench collapse may have legal recourse through a civil claim. A construction accident attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.
Investigating Williamsburg Trench Collapse Accidents
We at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. extend our best wishes to the worker injured in this Williamsburg trench collapse. It is our sincere hope that he will be able to make a full recovery. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what went wrong so that similar incidents can be prevented.
Have you or someone that you care about been injured in a Williamsburg trench collapse? There are a number of laws designed to protect your rights. We are committed to getting accident victims the support and justice that they need. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (516) 908-9792.