Working with heavy equipment can be extremely dangerous. No worker is entirely free from risk of harm, no matter how experienced or well-trained they may be. Sometimes accidents can be caused by negligent co-workers or poor safety oversight from management. In other cases, equipment may simply malfunction and give rise to an accident that causes serious injury or death.
A fatal accident in Texas last week should serve as notice to all Colorado workers about the importance of staying vigilant when working around heavy equipment.
The accident occurred at a metal salvage and recycling business. According to police reports, a 47-year-old man was working on a rail car that became derailed. He and his co-workers used at front loader and chains to pull the car back into place. At first, their efforts appeared successful. However, when they stopped the front loader, the rail car kept moving. The man could not get out of the way and ultimately became trapped between the two pieces of heavy equipment.
By the time first responders arrived, the worker was in critical condition. He was transported to a local hospital, but unfortunately could not be saved. According to the medical examiner, he died from heart lacerations caused by blunt force drama.
Workers’ Compensation Death Claims
No worker should ever be forced into a situation where they must risk their life in order to earn a living. However, accidents do happen, and it is important for the families of deceased workers to understand that they have a right to receive financial compensation to help replace the worker’s lost wages and other contributions to the family.
Colorado workers’ compensation law provides dependency and death benefits for the families of workers who are killed in on-the-job accidents. In addition, families may be able to pursue third-party liability claims when evidence shows that the negligence of a party other than the employer (for example, an equipment manufacturer or outside maintenance technician) was responsible for causing the accident.
Source: KZTV, “Man Dies From a Workplace Accident,” Caroline Flores, June 5, 2012.