Construction accidents are one of the biggest contributors to workplace injuries, and safety regulations for construction companies must be strictly monitored and enforced. In an accident in a state nearby to Minnesota, a recent construction worker was run over and killed in a workplace accident. OSHA has announced it will investigate.
The 66-year-old man died on July 22 when he was run over by a 'semi pup trailer' at the construction site. The county coroner declared him dead at the scene. He was working on a crew that was prepping ground for a new Schwan Food Company.
The decedent worked for Lien Transportation Company of Aberdeen, South Dakota. The accident occurred at a construction site in the northeastern part of that city. The employing company released a statement expressing sadness. The company reportedly has no history of a workplace accident or violations that are registered by OSHA.
The company had done work for both Brown County and the City of Aberdeen. Officials from both said they had no problems with the company. The man was an experienced worker who had 15 years with the company.
In this case, the operator of the semi pup trailer may have been negligent in running the worker over and killing him. If the operator worked for Lien Transportation then the decedent cannot make a tort claim for wrongful death damages against the driver or owner of the trailer. If the trailer was operated and owned by someone other than the decedent's employer, then a wrongful death action would be available to the decedent's family if the operator was negligent.
In any event, in Minnesota and all other states a workplace accident occurring on the job that results in an injury or death, creates the right of the injured person or the decedent's estate to collect workers' compensation benefits or workers' compensation death benefits, respectively. These benefits are paid whether or not the operator of the vehicle that killed the decedent was negligent or not. Unlike in tort claims, workers' compensation benefits are paid regardless of fault.
Source: keloland.com, "OSHA To Investigate Aberdeen Construction Accident," Erich Schaffhause, July 24, 2013