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Construction accident kills worker distracted by his cell phone

While distracted driving is a major problem on roads nationwide, including here in Colorado, mobile device distraction has been identified as the cause of many accidents on construction sites. A recent death of a worker in a construction accident in another state has raised the concerns about distracted employees. Construction zones pose multiple safety hazards, and the added dangers brought about by the use of mobile phones on the job can cause higher numbers of fatalities and catastrophic injuries.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the recent accident in which a worker in a construction zone was knocked down by a dump truck. An incident report indicates that the worker was standing behind the truck that was backing up. Investigators reported that the man had his back turned to the moving truck while he was talking on his cell phone. He was declared dead soon after the truck hit him.

OSHA reported that it is also investigating the similar deaths of two other employees of one of the companies involved in this construction project. The agency revealed that, in 2011, 70 workers lost their lives in accidents involving trucks that were backing up. One company reported that it is working on fitting all its construction vehicles with backup cameras in an effort to avoid such fatalities.

When a Colorado worker is killed in a construction accident, the surviving family members may pursue compensation. This is true even if the deceased worker was partly responsible for his or her own death. Death benefits claims may be filed with the workers' compensation insurance program to obtain compensation to cover a funeral and burial along with daily living expenses for a specified period after the worker's death.

Source: wesh.com, "I-4 construction death raises industry concerns", Matt Grant, March 2, 2016

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