Workplace safety agencies are investigating a bizarre accident that happened at a state university in order to determine what caused it and if it could have been prevented. This accident exemplifies the serious construction workers’ injuries that can happen on unsafe Denver construction sites. If Colorado employers don’t work hard to reduce the risk of injuries and accidents, these kinds of tragedies may continue.
A contractor was demolishing a campus dormitory when an enormous concrete slab fell six stories and pinned him inside his excavator. Rescuers attempted numerous ways to free him, and finally did so by removing the side of the excavator’s cab. The man, who was wearing a helmet, was able to speak to his rescuers. When he first arrived at the hospital, his injuries were considered critical and life-threatening. Although he has since improved, it remains to be seen whether he will be permanently disabled and unable to work. Fortunately for this man, he should be eligible to receive workers’ compensation to pay for his extensive medical bills and to pay him his lost wages.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets regulations for both public and private industries to minimize accidents and keep American workers safe. Failing to abide by these rules, however, can expose employees in any sector, but especially in construction, to serious injuries. When employees are injured, however, they are often eligible for workers’ compensation for their period of disability.
After an accident is thoroughly investigated, a determination may be made that an employer is at fault, for failing to provide adequate safety equipment, training or protocols. Also, sometimes an investigation concludes that an accident is random and unforeseen. Regardless of reasons for any construction worker accident, the victim is often eligible for the workers’ compensation program.
Source: The Seattle Times, “Slab falls 6 stories, worker critically injured on UW campus,” July 21, 2012
If you are interested in finding out more about crush injuries, please visit our construction workers’ injuries webpage.