Safety on the job is why many companies have detailed safety protocols and trainings. There are many measures to observe in order to ensure that safety for workers is always maintained. Unfortunately, as one South Carolina company which recently lost a worker due to a fatal accident can attest to, it only takes one mistake for a worker to be seriously or fatally injured on the job.
The accident first started when the company was drilling a trench for a water line. While a 28-year-old man was inside the 16-foot deep trench, a heavy piece of equipment fell on him, killing him. Another man was trapped by the equipment. He was eventually rescued by emergency crews who helped out, and it is expected that he will recover from the accident.
This accident was catastrophic, made even worse by the fact that the company was previously penalized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for two serious work violations in 2007. At that time, they were cited and fined $4,200 for the violations, including a failure to inspect an excavation daily to find and remove possible hazards and inadequate protection for workers to keep them from being injured by cave-ins. South Carolina OSHA is currently investigating the accident.
For the family who lost the man, there is nothing that can change what has already happened. As the family continues to grieve, they may take some comfort in workers’ compensation death benefits that will likely be provided to them. The worker who was injured in the same accident will also probably receive benefits for his medical bills and lost time from work as he recovers. In the meantime, it is hoped that this company will take any necessary measures to prevent similar accidents from occurring.
Source: 7 On Your Side, “Worker Killed In Accident Identified, Contractor Had Prior Violations,” June 15, 2012
Steven Krause is a personal injury, auto accident, and workers’ compensation lawyer who practices in Anderson, SC. He graduated form the Thomas M. Cooley School of Law and has been practicing law for 40 years now. Steven Krause believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience here.