When a sinkhole forms on a project site, everyone’s lives are put in danger. At any moment, the ground could cave in and take everything on the surface with it, including heavy equipment, vehicles, and construction workers. It is imperative that construction companies take the necessary steps to ensure that such a disaster never occurs.
In part one of this two-part series, our Florida construction attorneys detailed the telltale signs of a sinkhole. Now, we will be looking at what construction companies should do to safeguard worker safety and project success in the event of a sinkhole. If you are ever concerned with the safety of your workers, don’t hesitate to contact a Florida construction attorney at Cotney Construction Law.
Construction companies concerned with sinkhole activity on a construction site can consult an engineer that specializes in testing for and addressing sinkholes. A geotechnical investigation can be performed to determine if a sinkhole is present. This investigation consists of studying soil samples, monitoring groundwater, employing ground-penetrating radar and surveys, and studying preexisting data on the area. Once the extent of a sinkhole has been ascertained, measures can be employed to address the sinkhole. Such measures include filling the sinkhole with cement/grout and designing a foundation that can transfer the structural load into a deeper layer of rock.
A Construction Nightmare
A sinkhole can lead to disaster on even the most well-managed construction projects. As construction crews in Homosassa discovered, sinkholes are a very real concern. Two sinkholes opened up underneath this highway construction project, leading to project delays and local businesses being negatively impacted.
A sinkhole is more than just a scheduling concern for construction companies. A sinkhole could easily collapse a crane, destroy a building, or demolish vehicles. If one were to open underneath a construction site, it could prove deadly for unknowing crews toiling away above ground. Never allow your employees to continue working if you believe a sinkhole may form under them. If a sinkhole does form, remove your workers from the area immediately.
Consult a Professional
If you are a general contractor on a construction site, it is your duty to look after your crew and provide them with a work environment that is free of any life-threatening hazards. Failure to see to their safety could result in an employee death, personal injury claim, or an OSHA investigation and fine. If your workforce is faced with a life-threatening hazard, immediately consult a Florida construction attorney at Cotney Construction Law.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.