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“I have been prosecuting serious injury and wrongful death cases against trucking companies, auto makers and tire manufacturers for more than 30 years. Our firm maintains this blog to share information and insight on transportation safety issues that continue to arise on our nation’s highways and roads.”

Man Sustains Serious Injuries in Trench Collapse Accident at a Construction Site at Mercantile Bank in Portage, Michigan

Portage, Mich. — A man in his thirties suffered serious injuries after a trench collapsed on him while working at a construction site. The incident happened Friday morning at Mercantile Bank.

According to reports, the man’s head was above ground, and he was breathing slowly when help arrived. The trench he was buried in was 3-foot-wide and 10-foot-deep.

The man had managed to dig himself out partially but then got stuck. The rescue mission took five hours. A translator had to be used to communicate with the man in Spanish.

Emergency personnel took the man to a nearby hospital with serious injuries.

According to MIOSHA, trench work is among the most dangerous in construction, with 112% more fatal accidents than average construction incidents.

Thoughts on trench collapses

When people work in highly hazardous industries (like construction), many will assume the risk of serious injury and death is part of the job description. However, this should not be the case.

Just because some jobs are more hazardous than others doesn’t mean safety can be compromised. Workers have a legal right to do their jobs safely without fear of not returning home to their families because of a work-related accident.

On the contrary, the greater the risk, the more important it is to implement stringent safety procedures to protect workers. Was this practiced at this construction site? Was the worker provided safety information in Spanish, since that is their native language?

With appropriate safety precautions, many trench collapses can be avoided. For example, trenches exceeding five feet in depth should incorporate sloping, benching, shoring, or shielding to minimize the risk of fatal cave-ins. They must also have a ladder that extends at least 3 feet for easy exit access. Did the worker have this preventative tool nearby?

My hope is that the injured man will make a full recovery and that If negligence or wrongdoing occurred, he receive compensation for his pain and suffering and for the financial expenses he will have to face.



The Ammons Law Firm represents clients nationwide in catastrophic injury and wrongful death litigation, with extensive experience in complex auto/tire defect and commercial vehicle cases.

Disclaimer: This post is not legal advice. Information contained in this blog was compiled from third-party sources or is the opinion of the author. Please inform us immediately if false or misleading information is contained in this post.

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