The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 150,000 construction site accidents occur each year, a number that should communicate the potential for harm in high-risk professions like construction work. Individual cases of construction accidents put those numbers into greater perspective. Such is the case of a fatal work injury at a construction site at Indiana University’s Bloomington campus earlier this year.
The attorneys at our Indianapolis, IN law firm would like to share the details of this fatal construction accident. The nature of this case should emphasize the importance of workplace safety given the sports of dangers that construction workers face on a daily basis.
The Fatal IU Bloomington Accident in April
While working on renovations to Swain Hall at IU Bloomington, a 1,600 pound, 10-foot long limestone slab fell from a winch, fatally crushing a construction worker. The slab was being lifted above an interior doorway at Swain Hall when it fell. This is part of a $36 million Swain Hall renovation project.
The 35-year-old construction worker was identified as William M. Brown Jr. According to various media reports, no other workers suffered injuries during the fatal accident on campus.
OSHA’s Proposed Fines for Safety Violations
Indiana’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Rock Solid Masonry LLC, the subcontractor that employed the late Mr. Brown, for four serious safety violations. These safety violations included a failure to use the winch properly, failure to instruct its employees on the proper use and safety of the winch, and failure to predict potential hazards from using the winch for this particular job.
The state’s OSHA penalties for these safety violations totaled $11,200.
What the Company Is Doing to Address These Violations
According to a report last month in the Associated Press, Rock Solid Masonry LLC agreed to pay $10,00 in fines while simultaneously addressing the safety violations to prevent further tragedies in the future.
Indiana Department of Labor spokeswoman Stephanie McFarland told the AP that Rock Solid Masonry LLC addressed the noncompliance issues noted by OSHA. In addition, Rock Solid Masonry LLC agreed to provide additional safety training for their employees in light of the fatal accident.
A Tragic Example of a Company’s Lack of Safety
This incident at IU Bloomington highlights the dangers that construction workers are subjected to if their companies do not take safety seriously. Had Rock Solid Masonry LLC taken the hazards of their job into account and properly trained their team in the use of the winch, a fatal accident could have been prevented.
These kinds of safety violations must be taken seriously as they put workers at unnecessary risk for simply performing their jobs.
How Attorneys Can Help in These Matters
In cases of negligence such as the one we’ve recounted above, seeking legal advice is in your best interests. If you’ve lost a family member in a construction accident, it may be worthwhile to pursue a legal action against the company responsible for the incident. We can listen to the circumstances surrounding your case and determine if a lawsuit is an ideal course of action.
Ultimately, our focus is on your family, and protecting the safety and wellness of all workers in Indiana.
Contact Golitko & Daly
To learn more about your legal rights and options following construction accidents, we encourage you to contact our team of workplace safety violation attorneys. We will discuss your case with you in greater detail and offer legal guidance on these matters that can be extremely helpful to you and your loved ones.