Construction worker killed when he’s buried in dirt and mulch

As we have often discussed on our Pittsburgh workers’ compensation law blog, construction is one of the most dangerous occupations around. Great heights and heavy machinery can spell disaster for construction workers, who often must depend on workers’ compensation benefits for extended periods if they are hurt on the job. Sometimes, however, construction accidents are so serious that they are fatal for the people involved.

A worker on Long Island, New York, was killed recently in a construction accident. Workers responded to a fire on a hill and were putting it out when the earth the worker was standing on gave way. The collapse trapped the man under a large mound of dirt and mulch. Police who had responded to the scene helped workers to pull the man out of the dirt. Unfortunately, he died after he was taken to a nearby hospital. He was apparently the only person injured in the incident.

The accident is under investigation by the police and by federal officials. It wasn’t clear if the fire or the response to it had anything to do with the ground collapsing. Officials were asking the public’s help for information about the incident.

Regardless of what the accident investigation yields, the result of the accident — the death of a 50-year-old worker — will remain unchanged. When workers are killed in construction accidents, their surviving dependents will want answers. An attorney who specializes in workplace accidents and workers’ compensation can be a valuable resource for families who may have lost their primary provider.

Source: Newsday, “Riverhead man dies in East Quogue construction accident,” Zachary R. Dowdy, March 3, 2014

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