Many workplace fatalities that occur nationwide, including in California, involve unsecured trenches. Working in trenches is known to present multiple life-threatening hazards, and employers must comply with a number of safety regulations that have been established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Failure to observe these rules can lead to fatal workplace accidents.
One such accident in another state claimed the life of a 26-year-old worker who was trapped in a collapsed trench. In the mid-afternoon of a recent Tuesday, emergency crews were called to the scene of the workplace accident. They reportedly arrived to find a worker almost entirely covered in soil from the partially collapsed trench wall. Police officers, fire fighters and construction workers were frantically trying to save the worker.
When he was extricated, the man was reportedly unresponsive, and no pulse could be detected. He was rushed to a medical facility at which doctors managed to resuscitate him, and he was then airlifted to another hospital. The worker succumbed to this injuries two days after the accident. As in other fatal workplace accidents, OSHA will likely investigate this man's death to determine whether safety regulations were violated.
Whenever workers die in workplace accidents, whether in California or other states, the surviving family members are typically entitled to pursue claims for workers' compensation death benefits. Coverage for funeral and burial costs are usually provided. Lost wages are also commonly included in a workers' compensation benefits financial package to assist dependents surviving the deceased victim with ongoing obligations.
Source: timesgazette.com, "Man trapped in trench collapse dies", Oct. 8, 2015