The death of a 29-year-old construction worker employed on a project at Pennsylvania State University (PSU) in mid-June has now led to an investigation by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The agency is charged with establishing safety rules and guidelines for various industries. OSHA has both enforcement powers and the ability to assess penalties for violations against any company, including those in Pennsylvania.
According to authorities, the worker died of blunt force trauma when a construction crane struck him. Although the incident was determined to be an accident, OSHA will analyze whether the construction company complied with safety regulations.
OSHA officials say the contractors and subcontractors used in the PSU building construction were previously under investigation for some 100 incidents of failure to follow safety rules and regulations. Eighteen 18 of these incidents were deemed workplace safety violations. Any attorney who represents surviving family members will undoubtedly cite this history to establish the culpability of the construction companies involved in the fatal mishap.
Ensuring the safety of all workers across the country is critical, given that construction sites are among the most dangerous workplaces in the United States, killing dozens and injuring thousands every year. In fact, construction workers' accidents lead to a wide variety of injuries specific to the workplace, including falls from height, crush injuries and burns. Workers who survive these accidents often are unable to return to work and must live on disability or workers' compensation payments.
Injured construction workers and their loved ones often find it beneficial to consult attorneys, but not just any attorney. Specifically, an attorney who specializes in construction workers' accidents would like be the most helpful. These specialized attorneys hold employers responsible for their actions and secure appropriate compensation for their injuries and loss of income.
Source: Centre Daily Times, "OSHA opens probe of PSU construction death," Shawn Annarelli, June 16, 2015