A construction worker has lost his life following an accident at a Huntsville, Alabama construction site on January 15, 2021. During the course of work, a worker was killed when a trench he was working in collapsed on him. The coroner indicated the cause of death was traumatic asphyxiation. The victim’s identity has not yet been released.
Tragically, there have been a number of recent deaths as a result of collapsed walls/trenches on construction projects. On January 14, 2021, a worker lost his life in a trench collapse in Greeley, Colorado. On January 13, 2021, a wall collapsed on four workers in North Carolina, killing one. On December 28, 2020, a 10-foot brick retaining wall collapsed onto multiple workers, killing one worker and severely injuring another. On December 18, 2020, a trench collapsed on two workers at a Virginia construction site, killing one worker and injuring the other.
Despite being a vital part of the economy, construction projects often pose severe hazards both to construction workers and to the general public if precautions are not taken. Construction companies must ensure that work is regularly and properly inspected. Each construction project poses its own unique risks and hazards based on the work being done. Risks that may present themselves during a project must be carefully evaluated before the job begins. Construction sites often have multiple simultaneous operations ongoing, all of which must be carefully planned to ensure the safety of all workers. Nearly 6.5 million people work at approximately 252,000 construction sites across the nation every day. The fatal injury rate for the construction industry is higher than the national average in this category for all industries.
In 2018 alone, there were 320 deaths as a result of falls at construction sites. Every single fall death is a preventable accident. Safe construction companies must protect their workers, and eliminate risks. OSHA recommends:
“Workers who are six feet or more above lower levels are at risk for serious injury or death if they should fall. To protect these workers, employers must provide fall protection and the right equipment for the job, including the right kinds of ladders, scaffolds, and safety gear.”
One mechanism to safely evaluate and prepare for risks is through the use of a Job Safety Analysis (“JSA”) or Risk Assessment, which is standard in the industry. When this does not occur, it can result in catastrophic personal injury or death. In a JSA, each step of the job is examined to identify potential hazards and to recommend the safest way to perform the work in order to minimize those risks. According to OSHA:
A job hazard analysis is a technique that focuses on job tasks as a way to identify hazards before they occur. It focuses on the relationship between the worker, the task, the tools, and the work environment. Ideally, after you identify uncontrolled hazards, you will take steps to eliminate or reduce them to an acceptable risk level.
OSHA recommends JSAs be performed for all of the following:
• Jobs with the highest injury or illness rates;
• Jobs with the potential to cause severe or disabling injuries or illness, even if there is no history of previous accidents;
• Jobs in which one simple human error could lead to a severe accident or injury;
• Jobs that are new to your operation or have undergone changes in processes and procedures; and
• Jobs complex enough to require written instructions
According to a recent study, 12 of the 25 most dangerous jobs as measured by the rate of people who die at work are in the construction industry.
Our experienced lawyers have handled personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits of all kinds and have the skills needed to represent the families of loved ones who have lost their lives or those who have been seriously injured during a construction project. The experienced construction personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at Spagnoletti Law Firm can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one was a victim of an accident on a construction site. Our lawyers have represented numerous workers who have been injured or killed in a falling accident.
Our lawyers have represented numerous workers who have sustained serious and catastrophic injuries on a job site as a result of the negligence of another party. There are strict and short time limits on making claims, so please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or 877-678-5864 to learn more about your legal rights.