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Construction accident sparks investigation from OSHA, heavy fines

There are specific guidelines set in place by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to prevent North Carolina workers from being involved in a construction accident. When protocols are not followed, hefty fines can be a result. A company in another state had been under an investigation from OSHA, resulting in fines totaling over $50,000. Two of the fines were the result of deaths at the workplace, while the other fine was the result of a serious injury after a construction accident.

It appears that the elevator company may have a history of similar issues, according to OSHA's citations and fines. Back in 2011, a construction accident lead to serious injury for one worker. A broken pelvis and vertebra, in addition to numerous other broken bones, were the apparent result of falling almost 20-feet down an elevator shaft. The company was fined nearly $20,000 because, according to OSHA, the accident could have been prevented if the worker was wearing fall-protection gear.

In June of this year, another incident occurred. The same company was given three citations, totaling $18,000 each, after a man was killed on the job. The investigation found that the man, who was working on an elevator shaft, was struck by an object while he was standing on a ladder.

The most recent construction accident happened just this past October. A 60-year-old man was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries after heavy material he was removing from a truck fell on him. His injuries were so catastrophic that he was pronounced dead upon his arrival to the hospital.

Although OSHA issues citations and fines after discovering accidents may have been prevented, it may not be enough for the families of the victims. North Carolina employees work too hard to fall victim to a possibly preventable construction accident. The families of the victims may feel they could benefit from looking into workers' compensation or survivor's benefits, in order to be properly compensated for the unexpected losses and injuries their families now struggle with.

Source: San Jose Mercury News, Elevator company fined $54,000 after worker's death at 49ers Levi's Stadium project, Mark Gomez, Dec. 11, 2013

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