One of the biggest hazards facing construction workers, particularly those who work in road construction, is struck-by incidents. The Center for Construction Research and Training says between 2011 and 2015, 804 construction workers lost their lives after suffering struck-by injuries. The number of deaths resulting from being struck by equipment was slightly higher than those that were struck by vehicles. These figures represent construction workers nationwide, including Colorado, who lost their lives but exclude those that suffered a permanent disability or less severe consequences.
Following up on our blog post about an explosion in Weld County from June 7 ("Death benefits claim possible following Colorado explosion"), investigators have now reported their findings of the cause. It was a tragic event in which four contract workers were injured at work, and one of them succumbed to his injuries. Although the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have not concluded their investigations, the Mountain View Fire Protection District announced its findings.
Trenches present some of the most deadly hazards in the construction injury, and employers nationwide, including in Colorado, must comply with safety regulations. Compliance is the only way in which to prevent tragedies that sometimes leave families with nothing more than workers' compensation death benefits. This was the fate of a family in another state after the death of a 19-year-old worker in a trench.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has a list of strict safety regulations related to the use of forklifts in Colorado and all other states. Only employees who have received appropriate training are allowed to operate any type of lift truck, and there are multiple rules with which they must comply. Unfortunately, these regulations are often disregarded -- sometimes resulting in employees being fatally injured at work.
A Colorado family may pursue financial assistance through the workers' compensation insurance system for the state in the aftermath of a workplace tragedy. A claim for death benefits may be appropriate following the recent death of a construction worker. Authorities say this was the third fatality within two months that could be linked to oil and gas properties owned by Anadarko in Colorado.
Working at heights will always be hazardous. Too many workers are fatally injured at work in fall accidents, and many victims wear no fall protection. One such a fatal workplace accident recently claimed the life of an employee of a Colorado Springs company. The company is one of the contractors working on the expansion of a sports center in another state.
With 55 mph wind gusts on a recent Tuesday morning, an unfinished church construction in Colorado had little chance of staying up. This was the wind speed reported by the National Weather Service for the City of Greeley on that day. One employee of the construction company was injured at work when the structure collapsed.
Employers in Colorado and other states are responsible for the health and safety of their employees. Workers' rights include the right to safe work environments, and business owners must assess workplace safety and address all potential hazards. Furthermore, employers must provide adequate safety training, and only qualified employees must work on specialized projects, such as working with electricity.
Whenever excavations take place on construction sites in Colorado or elsewhere, all workers are at risk. It is the responsibility of construction company owners to ensure all safety precautions are in place to prevent circumstances that can lead to workers being injured at work. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes strict safety regulations related to trench safety.
More and more industrial facilities in Colorado and elsewhere are adding robotic machines to their manufacturing processes. Considering that some employers do not comply with safety regulations related to the safeguarding of machines that have been in use for decades, employees may rightfully be concerned about their safety around the robots that pose even more hazards. Allowing energized robots to work side by side with human employees have already led to severely, and even fatally, injured workers.