Construction accidents can take many forms, and are not always connected with the erection of new structures. Sometimes they can occur when workers are in the process of removing an existing structure or large piece of equipment.
This was the situation that gave rise to a recent fatal work accident at a power plant. The plant had recently converted from coal to natural gas, but still had some leftover equipment on site from its coal-burning days.
A contract employee for the company that owns the power plant was engaged in activity to remove a defunct boiler when part of a catwalk he was on evidently gave way. The worker plunged at least 40 feet to his death.
Although this particular accident took place in another state, its relevance to North Carolina readers rests in the universal fact that no matter where there are construction workers, sometimes they find themselves in work-related duties that can be hazardous. Such hazards can include falling accidents like the one in this instance, or something similar like a ladder fall or a scaffolding fall.
The system of workers’ compensation or another form of compensation insurance is one of the first avenues to explore for relief in such an event, and may be available to surviving relatives if the worker involved in the accident dies.
Filing a claim for benefits is not always an easy process, however. The employer may, for example, blame the worker for the injury. This is what the power plant company did in an earlier fatal accident at the same facility, even though the federal government found to the contrary. Other possible complications for relatives of a deceased worker in making a benefits claim may also arise if the compensation insurer resists the claim.
Anyone who encounters difficulties in pursuing a claim to compensation insurance benefits arising from a work accident has available as a resource and an advocate the services of an attorney who deals with issues connected with workplace accidents. Enlisting legal representation can help not only with securing the best possible outcome but also with preserving peace of mind during the claim process.
Source: Tampa Bay Times, “Worker falls to his death at TECO plant,” William R. Levesque, July 14, 2014