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Workplace accident in New York traps worker in trench for 2 hours

Every construction worker goes to work every day fully aware of possible dangers they may face. This type of career choice holds certain occupational hazards that could lead to a workplace accident. These accidents could result in personal injuries or in some cases death.

A New York construction worker was rescued from a trench 25 feet deep by firefighters. He was working in the trench when the structure became unstable and formed a barricade around his body from the waist down. The firefighters' two hour effort was handled both aggressively and cautiously to retrieve the man who reportedly complained of leg pain.

Firefighters were also concerned that the man could have been suffering from crush syndrome while in the trench. This common condition causes a dangerous increase of potassium in the body which could result in death. Fortunately, paramedics at the scene were able to give him proper treatment to prevent this from happening. Once the man was above surface, he was immediately taken to a local hospital for further medical attention. It was reported his condition is serious, but he is stable.

A previous inspection concluded the workers had improperly installed the shoring at the work site. Reportedly, this was grounds for an inspector to issue a stop-work order. It is an alleged violation of this stop-work order that may be the cause of the accident. If this is found to true in the court of law, the employer could be penalized.

In New York, there are state and federal laws in place to protect employees in the event of a workplace accident. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure the work environment is safe and that the employees follow guidelines to prevent injuries. In this particular incident, the worker could be eligible to file a workers' compensation claim against his employer. This state-regulated insurance benefits plan typically covers medical expenses and related costs and also provides a lost income package so that the worker can focus on recovering and getting back to his or her job.

Source: NBC New York, "Construction Worker Pulled from 25-Foot Trench After 2-Hour Rescue," Ida Siegal, June 19, 2013

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