Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler

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Construction accident causes death of worker; OSHA investigating

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating a fatal accident that took place in a new housing construction site in Waxhaw, North Carolina.

The accident occurred when a flatbed truck was backing up. Apparently, a contract worker was on the flatbed portion of the truck and somehow fell off while the truck was in motion.

The driver was evidently unaware of what had happened until after he had run over his coworker.

Although police, who are also investigating the accident, have said that nothing suggests the incident was anything but an accident, it remains to be seen whether negligence played a role in creating the circumstances that led up to the fatal workplace accident.

Questions may arise, for example, as to why the worker was on the back of the flatbed when the truck was in motion, what he may have been doing there, and why he fell off. It is possible that safety measures that could have protected him were lacking.

Other questions may concern whether the driver of the truck was following proper backing procedures and whether workers on the site were properly supervised and trained prior to the accident.  Investigators may also look at the truck itself to determine if a faulty product or piece of broken equipment contributed to the accident.

A work site accident that results in injury or death is always tragic. In the case at hand, several people have already had to pay a price or may eventually find themselves having to do so: the worker who died, his co-worker who will live with a horrific memory for the rest of his life, relatives of the deceased worker, and possibly others who might pay in a different way if negligence was the cause.

Source: WBTV, "Construction worker run over, killed in Waxhaw," Chris Dyches, July 29, 2014

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