Colorado workers who are involved in excavation may realize the dangerous conditions they are exposed to on a daily basis. Not only does heavy mechanical equipment pose construction accident hazards, but the lives of workers on the ground are in constant jeopardy. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration expects company owners and supervisors to provide safe working environments and to ensure that all workers are adequately trained to perform their various jobs. In addition, the safety gear prescribed for each type of work should be supplied to the workers.
The recent tragic death of a worker in a construction accident demonstrates the importance of abiding by the prescribed safety regulations. An OSHA investigation into the accident is expected to take up to two months. The accident report stated that road construction was underway to repair flood damage on a recent Friday.
A worker on the ground was apparently signaling to assist the driver of a semi-truck that was backing up. It appears that the driver lost sight of the ground worker as he knocked the man down and rolled the truck over him. The worker reportedly died at the accident scene. Authorities reported that no evidence of alcohol or drugs were present. It was still unclear whether the truck driver was an employee of the same company or a contractor.
The surviving family of the 46-year-old worker who lost his life in this construction accident may now be facing high end-of-life expenses. In addition, they will have to adjust to life without the income he supplied. The family may be entitled to claim death benefits from the workers’ compensation insurance fund. If it is determined that the semi-truck driver was employed by a different company, the family may have a viable third-party wrongful death claim that could be filed in a Colorado civil court. While workers’ compensation benefits will only cover funeral and burial costs, along with a financial package, the civil claim may allow additional damages as allowed by state laws.
Source: dailycamera.com, “Construction worker involved in flood repair killed by semi on Lefthand Canyon Drive“, Charlie Brennan, Oct. 17, 2014