Federal safety regulators recently issued $52,000 in proposed fines to an electrical contractor whose failure to follow health and safety procedures lead to a worker's wrongful death at a jobsite. The worker was electrocuted last December while working at rural job site in Montana.
Construction and contractor deaths are unfortunately common across the country and many of these accidents are attributable to an employer's failure to maintain a safe working environment.
Common causes of contract worker death include:
- Scaffolding Collapses
- Dangerous machinery
In the case of the electrical worker, inspectors for the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined that the contractor failed to discontinue work in the dangerously high winds and did not use the proper insulating safeguards to protect the worker.
"We are committed to doing everything in our power to prevent tragic workplace incidents such as this from happening," said Trina Mailloux, an OSHA office director. "Employers must ensure that workers are protected when working near power lines."
It is unclear whether the worker's family will file a wrongful death lawsuit against the contractor. A wrongful death lawsuit is a type of civil action that can be brought by the family of a deceased worker against an employer whose acts or omissions caused the worker's death.
Source: OSHA, "US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Missouri-based PAR Electrical Contractors for safety violations following worker fatality in Montana," 12-1063-MON (SF-110)