Two men were killed at a utility construction site in another state recently when the aerial basket they were suspended in crashed, plummeting 140 feet to the ground. Both men were under contract with the company to work on high tension power lines. The cause of the fatal accident is currently under investigation.
The safety of the work conditions have come under scrutiny. The company has been fined three times by OSHA since 2005. Two of the violations were for substandard aerial lifts.
The most common cause of fatalities for workers using aerial buckets under high tension wires is electrocution. Eighty percent of deaths resulting from vehicle mounted raised platforms are the result of contact with electrical sources, according to investigations of the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development Department of Labor Standards.
Other fatalities occur due to failure to use restraints, falls from buckets, and overturned trucks on unstable ground. This recent accident occurred on a barren, sandy strip of land, adding the elements of unstable ground to the dangers of working under high-tension power poles.
The loss of a loved one due to a preventable accident can never be fully compensated, but wrongful deaths justifiably require negligent parties to shoulder the burden of financial loss and suffering to the bereaved family. While anyone who is injured on the job is entitled to receive worker’s compensation benefits, the loved ones of a victim may also have the right to pursue additional compensation under wrongful death law, depending on the nature of a fatal workplace accident.
Wrongful death attorneys in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and around the country understand the degree of financial adjustment families make as they battle with medical costs, funeral arrangements, and a loss of income. They are also sensitive to the emotional impact that follows the loss of a loved one, aware that many families need grief counseling and long term emotional support.
Source: Cape Cod Times, “ Father of Buzzard Bay’s Victim: ‘I’m Going to Miss Him Terribly ’,” Haven Orecchio-Ergesitz, April 12, 2014