The Occupational Safety and Health Administration assert that families should not have to face the consequences of employers violating safety violations and causing the deaths of loved ones. The agency is investigating yet another case of a fatal workplace injury that was caused by a collapsing trench. It says that trench collapses are mostly preventable, and an average of two fatalities occur every month in unfortified trenches across the nation, including in Colorado.
The current investigation involves the death of a worker in another state. The preliminary inquiry reports show that two workers were installing a storm-water drain for runoff water in an unsupported trench with a depth of approximately 10 feet. One of the side walls of the trench collapsed, causing the death of one worker. The other worker managed to avoid injuries.
OSHA says, of all accidents related to excavation, trench collapses pose the highest risk and often result in worker fatalities. There are strict safety regulations that prescribe that any trench with a depth of six feet or deeper must be supported to protect workers from collapsing walls. The current investigation will determine whether the death of the worker was caused by safety violations.
When a Colorado family loses a loved one in an on-the-job accident that caused a fatal workplace injury, they will likely be faced with many challenges, one of which may be financial. The high costs of end-of-life arrangements and the sudden loss of income will only exacerbate the emotional trauma. Fortunately, the covered dependents of a deceased employee are entitled to pursue financial relief by filing a benefits claim with the workers’ compensation insurance fund. A compensation package typically includes funeral and burial expenses along with a percentage of lost income.
Source: wkyc.com, “OSHA: Worker killed in trench collapse in Geauga County”, Aug. 5, 2015