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Distracted operation of hazardous equipment can be fatal

Construction workers nationwide, including in Colorado are typically exposed to many life-threatening situations. This applies particularly when hazardous equipment is involved. Distracted operation of excavation equipment is as dangerous as distracted driving.

A construction worker in another state recently lost his life while he was part of a crew that was replacing a sewer line. During interviews with his co-workers, police who responded to the emergency heard that the 62-year-old employee was working in an excavated ditch when he was killed. Reportedly, another worker was at ground level while a third employee was in the excavator's cab.

Police learned that the equipment operator leaned out of the cab to talk to the man on the ground while the bucket of the excavator was in the ditch. When he turned back into his seat, one of the levers used to operate the machine allegedly caught onto some of his clothing. Reportedly, this caused the bucket to be jerked forward, crushing the worker in the hole against a wall.

The accident caused the worker to die at the scene before he could be transported to a hospital. When such workplace tragedies involving hazardous equipment occur in Colorado, surviving family members can seek financial assistance through the state's workers' compensation insurance system. They can claim survivors benefits, which would provide funds to cover the costs of end-of-life arrangements. Furthermore, the insurance program typically also awards a financial package to help the dependents cope with day-to-day living expenses and other financial obligations such as mortgage or rental payments for a predetermined period after the death of their loved one.

Source:, "A South Haven man is dead after construction zone incident in Hobart", Lauren Cross, Nov. 1, 2017

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