Just another PLM WordPress site
Demolition work is a particularly hazardous activity. It demands an extensive set of skills to safely bring down structures without damaging nearby buildings and people. Sadly, such work recently took the life of a crew foreman near Wilmington, Delaware.
A project to decommission an unused General Motors plant was underway when a tragic accident occurred. A cable being used to take down a steel beam snapped under the weight of the beam. The cable hit the foreman in the head and body, and he died almost immediately from those injuries.
An Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspection is always performed to investigate workplace fatalities. Findings of the inspection will be released, and citations issued if violations of safety and health laws are found.
OSHA is tasked with enforcing safety and health laws and rules designed to protect workers from unsafe or unhealthy workplaces. OSHA can issue civil citations to employers found in violation of its standards. If during an inspection they find an employer’s conduct was either an egregious or a willful violation of the law, it can also impose heightened fines.
Federal and state-based safety and health programs have a combined workforce of about 2,100 inspectors. There are approximately eight million worksites in the nation employing over 130 million workers. That means there is one compliance officer for every 59,000 workers.
Despite its small size OSHA is still having a positive impact. In the more than 40 years since OSHA’s creation, the rate of workplace injuries and fatalities has gone down.
However, with recent budget cuts the agency has had to do more with less. At the same time, the rate of workplace injuries and illnesses has begun to creep up again.
In one recent year over 5,000 workers were killed on the job. This means nearly 14 workers are killed on the job every single day. Even a single death on the job is one too many.
Making the target of zero workplace fatalities a reality is something many employers and their employees strive for. OSHA keeps track of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities that are work-related.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of 2016 the top three jobs with the highest rates of fatalities are:
First line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers have the ninth highest rate of fatalities.
If negligence or misconduct by an employer resulted in dangerous workplace conditions that caused a worker to die on the job, then the surviving family will be able to seek to recover pecuniary damages for wrongful death.
To prevail in a wrongful death case, the evidence must prove the employer’s negligence and that it caused the death, and that the family was financially harmed. States differ in the statute of limitations imposed on such cases. A wrongful death claim in Delaware must be filled within two years of the relevant death.
Dealing with an untimely death is emotionally and financially draining. It is not easy to begin a lawsuit during this stressful time. Yet the consequences of not filing in a timely manner can also be devastating. Allow the experienced New Castle wrongful death attorneys at Rhoades & Morrow to help you determine whether filing a wrongful death case is in your best interests. Call our Wilmington office at 302-427-9500, our Bear office at 302-834-8484, or our Milford office at 302-422-6705 or fill out an online contact form. We serve clients in Elsmere, Seaford, and across Delaware.