When Houston residents think of incidences of wrongful death, they are likely to think about fatal car accidents and medical malpractice deaths. But another kind of accident that could be a considered a wrongful death is a construction accident. Employers need to ensure that they are providing a safe working environment for their employees.
This may not be the case in a recent Houston accident, in which a construction worker was killed when a crane collapsed. The man was operating the crane at a construction site along Interstate 45 in Conroe, Texas, which is just outside of Houston.
– Article By Richard Weaver
The crane was reportedly lifting a piece of a wall when the crane tipped over, which crushed the operator’s cabin with the man inside. The cause of the accident is still being investigated, police said.
U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigators arrived at the scene to begin a preliminary investigation. OSHA is charged with investigating workplace conditions and determining whether accidents could have been avoided. The agency could eventually decide that fines or other penalties are warranted if the employer was negligent in providing a safe working environment.
The construction company that is heading up the project has not commented on the accident yet, but they can be assured to be questioned by OSHA investigators.
Along with the workers’ compensation benefits that the victim’s family may be entitled to, they could choose to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, depending on the results of the investigation. If OSHA finds that the employer was negligent allowing the accident to happen, it could strengthen a lawsuit.
Source: Courier of Montgomery County, “Crane topples, kills man,” Jonathan Garris, June 28, 2012