The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is actively investigating a construction accident in which a local utility worker was buried after the ground around his work area collapsed. The incident occurred on Wednesday in Susquehanna Township.
The worker, whose identity is not known at this time, became trapped inside a trench that was dug outside of a home on Pebble Court in Harrisburg. The trench was dug to gain access to some potentially damaged pipes outside of the home.
The worker, who is employed by Roto-Rooter, was busy inspecting the pipes when the wet ground around him suddenly gave way. The trench, which was roughly 10 feet deep, filled up quickly with mud and rocks, making it virtually impossible for the worker to make it to safety before becoming buried up to his waist.
Fire fighters and local police officers were called to the scene where they immediately began working to rescue the trapped man. For over three hours, rescue teams worked to free the man from the heavy, wet rubble. During the course of the rescue, the man remained conscious and responsive.
Once the man was freed, he was placed inside a life flight helicopter and taken to a local hospital. The extent of his injuries are not known at this time; however, officials have stated that the man is expected to survive the incident.
This year alone, OSHA has cited 15 different Pennsylvania companies with violations that resulted in fines and penalties equaling $40,000 or more. Many workers affected by an employer’s OSHA violations are entitled to workers’ compensation.
Additionally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 4,679 United States workers were killed on the job in 2014. That averages out to be almost 90 workplace fatalities each week, or more than 13 work-related deaths every day. Out of all of the worker fatalities in 2014, 20.5 percent of the deaths occurred in the construction industry. Many family members of workers who were fatally injured on the job are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits as well.
If you or a loved one has suffered pain or injury due to employer negligence, contact the skilled workers’ compensation lawyers at Schmidt Kramer today.
Call (888) 476-0807 or fill out a FREE Case Evaluation Form.