A 19-year-old construction worker from West Berlin, New Jersey was killed after an accident earlier this month in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. A concrete barrier, weighing 2,000 pounds, fell on him at the construction site. The man died of blunt force trauma, which was ruled accidental by the Lehigh County Coroner's office.
According to the emergency broadcasts from the event, the man suffered serious injuries and was experiencing cardiac arrest due to the trauma. Emergency crews performed CPR on the way to the hospital, but the man did not survive. The construction company is working to piece together the events that led to the man's death. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration will also be investigating the event.
According to the OSHA area director, the purpose of the investigation is to find out what exactly happened and how it could have been prevented in addition to any violations of OSHA regulations. Workplace accidents like this one take some time to investigate, as they must be examined by OSHA, the police and the construction company.
Construction accidents are often very serious, due to the heavy machinery and equipment used on the sites. Those who are non-fatally injured are often physically changed for life by their injuries. The inability to work can be very serious, and in some cases is more difficult for the injured person to cope with than their injuries. Workers' compensation is meant to help those injured in the workplace to get back on their feet and help them through the period of time where they are unable to work.
Source: Lehigh Valley Live, "Construction worker hit by concrete barrier in Bethlehem succumbs to injuries, company says," Sarah M. Wojcik, Sept. 5, 2012