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How can sinkholes lead to injuries for construction workers?

On Behalf of | May 23, 2024 | Workplace Injuries

Construction work can be dangerous, but some risks are less obvious than others. One of these hidden dangers is sinkholes. Sinkholes form suddenly and can cause serious injuries to construction workers.

Understanding how sinkholes develop and the risks they pose is important.

Defining sinkholes

Sinkholes are depressions or holes in the ground caused by the collapse of a surface layer. They often occur in areas where the ground contains materials that can dissolve in water, such as limestone, gypsum or salt.

When water seeps through the ground, it can dissolve these materials and create voids. Over time, these voids can cause the ground above to collapse without warning.

Learning how sinkholes form at sites

Construction sites often involve digging, drilling and heavy machinery. These activities can disturb the ground and may contribute to the formation of sinkholes.

For example, drilling can create pathways for water to flow into the ground and dissolve underlying materials. The weight of heavy machinery can also put pressure on the ground, increasing the risk of collapse. Construction activities can therefore trigger sinkholes that were already forming underground.

Understanding risks to workers

When a sinkhole forms, it can create a sudden and dangerous situation. The ground can collapse without warning, causing workers to fall into the hole. This fall, as well as any additional debris landing on a person, can lead to individuals suffering serious back, head and spine injuries. Workers operating heavy machinery are also at risk.

By taking steps to prevent sinkholes, employers can make construction sites safer and prevent anxiety among workers. Construction employees facing a workplace injury may want to seek fair compensation.