Many work hazards are life threatening. For this reason, it's hard to understand why some construction company owners continue to fail to comply with applicable safety laws. Allowing workers to enter unsecured trenches exposes them to potentially catastrophic workplace injuries. An Oklahoma family is grieving the unexpected death of a loved one in a recent trench collapse that could likely have been avoided had safety measures been taken.
The tragic accident occurred on a recent Friday afternoon in Edmond when a worker was overwhelmed by the collapse of a trench that was at least 20 feet deep. Co-workers called 911 when they realized that their colleague was trapped. First responders arrived to find him buried under about six feet of soil.
After almost 10 hours, emergency workers succeeded in retrieving the man's body from the collapsed trench. It is not known whether the trench was secured sufficiently according to its size and depth. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires compliance with its strict specifications related to trench safety. The Edmond Fire Department has reportedly launched an accident investigation.
Moving forward after such an unexpected death of a loved one is almost impossible, and requires all the support that is available. Surviving family members may find comfort in knowing that the workers' compensation insurance program typically offers financial help in these circumstances. Oklahoma families of workers who suffered fatal workplace injuries may pursue claims for death benefits to ease the financial burden. Benefits typically cover end-of-life expenses and a certain level of monetary relief for the victim's dependents.
Source: news9.com, "Edmond PD Releases 911 Call Made During Deadly Construction Accident", Jessica Holley, Nov. 18, 2015