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Safety is a major concern in construction workers' accidents

A safe work environment is as essential for everyone here in Pennsylvania as it is for those in the rest of the country. Construction workers face a myriad of dangers, and safety is a major concern in limiting the potential for construction workers' accidents. For example, without the proper fortification and additional safety precautions, a trench could easily become a death trap.

A man working in a trench at a private development recently lost his life. For reasons under investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the trench collapsed and buried the man up to his neck in dirt and clay. Three of the man's co-workers attempted to dig him out, but they had to evacuate due to safety concerns.

According to the San Antonio Fire Department, it took a minimum of 19 units to dig out the man's body. Sadly, what began as a rescue operation turned into a recovery operation when the 36-year-old man succumbed to the crushing injuries he suffered. Emergency personnel spent a bulk of their time shoring up the sides of the trench to make it safe to recover the man's body. It could be some time before OSHA determines what went wrong.

In the meantime, the man's family could apply for death benefits (also called survivor's benefits) through workers' compensation insurance similar to those that Pennsylvania families would receive in fatal construction workers' accidents here. These benefits ordinarily cover at least a portion of the burial and funeral costs. In addition, a family could receive some compensation for the loss of their deceased family member's income.

Source:, "Construction worker killed in trench collapse identified", March 10, 2017

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