In a recent release, an Occupational Safety and Health Administration director says construction workers can only be protected from severe or fatal workplace injuries when employers establish and follow effective safety protocols. They must then maintain them by providing adequate training. The agency referred to a fatal construction accident last August, blaming employer negligence for the incident. The accident occurred at a construction site of a New Jersey-based company in a neighboring state.
Reportedly, one worker was killed, and another one suffered fractures when a retaining concrete wall collapsed on them. OSHA investigators determined that a wall that was not approved by an engineer was erected to retain soil. Furthermore, they say the employer failed to provide workers with the necessary training to ensure they remained a safe distance from the retaining wall.
Reportedly, the weight of the soil caused the collapse of the retaining wall, and workers were close enough to be injured. While one man apparently managed to escape most of the harm, he suffered a fractured hand and leg. Unfortunately, the wall crushed the other employee, and blunt force trauma was listed as the cause of his death.
The stiff penalty that OSHA proposed for employer negligence in this case will not ease the grief or the financial consequences suffered by the deceased worker’s loved ones. Fortunately, the surviving family may file claims for death benefits through the workers’ compensation insurance system. Benefits are typically also available for injured workers who were fortunate enough to survive workplace accidents. The services of an experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney may be invaluable in securing all available benefits.
Source: poughkeepsiejournal.com, “OSHA cites construction company in fatal Dutton site collapse“, Abbott Brant, Feb. 1, 2018