Working in the construction field can be a hazardous occupation. Such workers frequently use tools and materials that require a high level of skill and equal measures of caution-and even when safety measures are in place, a workplace injury can still happen.
Recently, a man employed by a Pittsburgh industrial insulation contracting company was killed while working. He was working on a West Virginia power station, removing insulation, when he fell into the ductwork. A spokesperson for the power station indicated that planks are usually installed to prevent accidents. At this time, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is conducting an investigation into the accident.
Construction workers who are experience a work related injury may be able to get workers' compensation benefits. These generally include compensation for medical care, disability and any vocation rehab, and in situations where the worker was killed in the accident, workers' comp may also provide benefits to the surviving family for medical and funeral expenses. However, workers' compensation acts as a type of insurance, and generally requires that workers give up their right to sue the employer for any wrongdoing.
If the death was caused by the negligence of another person or entity, the surviving family members may instead bring a wrongful death action against the responsible party. In a construction scenario, the responsible party could be any number of parties, including the contractor, the site manager or the manufacturer of the products or machinery used on site. Monetary damages are typically available in wrongful death suits as well.
Source: Post-Gazette.com, "Man in workplace accident near Clarksburg, W.Va.," Molly Born, March 22, 2013