Thousands of men and women in Central Minnesota and beyond in the state earn their livings through the hard work of construction and other back-breaking blue collar jobs. While there's little question regarding whether working in such industries is hard physical work and has certain dangers, there is also no question that all workers are entitled to a reasonable standard of safety in their workplace.
Particularly in jobs where clear dangers are present, employers are required to be vigilant about fostering a safe worksite and safe work practices. OSHA is worried about at least one specific worksite danger due to worker fatalities in Minnesota over the past few years. Next month, a safety effort will take place to address the workplace safety concern.
Between April 17 and 21, MNOSHA encourages employers and workers who do excavation and trench work to take time to focus on safety improvements. The safety group calls the effort the Excavation Safety Stand-Down. OSHA aims to stop deaths and worker injuries related to excavation and trench work by urging those in the industry to take time during their workdays to focus on safety standards and improvements.
Since 2015, three Minnesota workers have died in trench accidents. To best prevent that number of fatalities from growing, it is crucial that employers set the necessary safety standards in place at excavation work sites. Some of the legal safety requirements are as follows:
- Workers must have safe access to and out of excavations readily availalable.
- Heavy equipment must be a certain distance away from the edge of excavations and trenches to prevent collapse.
- Trenches must be inspected when they have been potentially compromised by weather such as rain.
- The air quality must be gauged within trenches before workers enter.
The above are just a few of the safety standards worksite managers and employees must follow to prevent injuries, illnesses and death related to an excavation worksite. Work groups that participate in the upcoming Excavation Safety Stand-Down will hopefully discuss more safety tips and regulations and better implement the precautions within worksites in Northern and Central Minnesota, as well as surrounding areas.
Have you been injured because of unsafe work conditions? You are owed a safe workplace and, therefore, may have a case following a work accident. Discuss your situation with a lawyer experienced in helping injured workers get the compensation they deserve.