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Interstate construction accident kills 1, injures 1 in collapse

To keep pace with increased traffic loads, highways in Colorado and other states often require upgrades. In some cases, construction companies have to demolish interchanges and rebuild them to meet new standards. These projects typically involve careful planning and safety considerations related to both workers and motorists. Any construction company involved in such a project is expected to assess potential safety hazards and address them to avoid a construction accident that could cause life-changing injuries or worse.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, along with the state's transportation department and other authorities, are currently investigating a fatal construction accident that recently occurred in another state. An exit ramp reportedly collapsed during the demolition of a section of an interstate overpass, which ran over a section of roadway that typically carries in excess of 178,000 vehicles per day. One worker was killed when he was buried under a heavy load of rubble. Emergency workers say special equipment and airbags had to be used to retrieve the body of the deceased worker.

After the exit ramp collapsed, a tractor-trailer smashed into the rubble. The truck driver did not suffer major injuries, and he was transported to a nearby hospital. Police reported that the fact that the collapse occurred during the night was a blessing, as many more casualties and even deaths would likely have resulted from such a calamity had it occurred during the busy daytime hours.

Despite the fact that no construction accident is ever anticipated, safety measures should be in place to avoid fatalities or worker injuries. Colorado workers' compensation covers all workers who are killed or injured in work-related accidents. After losing loved ones in fatal workplace accidents, surviving spouses and dependents may be entitled to death benefits that typically cover expenses related to funeral and burial costs, along with additional compensation for lost income. In cases in which injuries are suffered by a person who is not in the construction company's employ, as in the case of the truck driver injured in the overpass accident, that person may pursue compensation for damages by filing a personal injury claim in a civil court.

Source: news.yahoo.com, "Highway work to resume after deadly Ohio overpass accident", Dan Sewell, Jan. 21, 2015

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