The ideal situation at any Colorado worksite would be for company owners to comply with all the federal safety regulations and for workers to perform their duties knowing that all known safety hazards are addressed. After all, all workers are entitled to safe work environments. Sadly, the reality is that many employers focus on profits rather than on worker safety. A recent out-of-state accident appears to be the result of a disregard for worker safety, and it has left one family likely seeking workers’ compensation benefits after the death of a loved one.
A 46-year-old worker recently lost his life in a trench collapse in another state. It was reported that the man’s father, who was working with him, called 911 when he realized he had not seen his son for about 30 minutes. Emergency workers from the fire department rushed to the scene to find the worker buried in a trench. It was too late to save his life.
A report by the fire department stated that the trench was not secured, nor was the worker protected by a trench box. The medical examiner determined that blunt force injuries caused his death. According to the safety regulations prescribed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, all trenches with a depth of 5 feet or more must be secured by sloping, scoring or the use of trench boxes.
While an OSHA investigation into this accident is underway, the surviving family members of this worker must cope with their loss, along with the financial consequences of the accident. Some level of financial relief is available for dependents of any workers who have lost their lives in workplace accidents in Colorado or any other state. Workers’ compensation benefits may be pursued for assistance with end-of-life expenses and lost wages.
Source: wbay.com, “Trench Safety After Deadly Incident”, Michelle Clemens Sports Green Bay, Nov. 11, 2015