A Florida construction worker lost his life as the result of a workplace accident. The incident occurred around 2 p.m. June 27 in Pembroke Park near the Hallandale Beach Boulevard exit ramp off Interstate 95. According to reports, the 37-year-old man had been operating an excavator when he jumped off and fell into a hole more than 20 feet deep.
Other workers immediately jumped in to rescue him, but their efforts were unsuccessful. First responders found him buried by more than a foot of dirt. Law enforcement officials closed both Interstate 95 ramps at Hallandale Beach Boulevard while they recovered the man’s body, causing rush hour traffic to back up.
Reports do not indicate which construction company the victim worked for nor do they indicate what might have caused the worker to jump from the excavator and fall into the hole. Construction accidents often occur when safety rules and standard operating procedures are ignored. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will mostly likely be investigating the accident since a fatality is involved. OSHA has many rules and regulations concerning fall protection and the guarding of open ditches and trenches.
As part of its investigation, OSHA normally looks into what type of safety training employees receive. Employers have a duty to provide safe work environments for employees. Anyone who believes they are being asked to perform duties in an unsafe manner should report the situation to their supervisor.
Employees injured in a work accident are usually eligible to receive workers’ compensation for lost wages and medical expenses. When a worker dies in a construction accident, the victim’s family can collect workers’ compensation death benefits. If employer negligence led to the death, they might instead file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Source: WSVN, “Construction worker dies after falling into ditch“, June 28, 2014