An awful tragedy occurred last month when a construction worker at a Polk County landfill was crushed to death while inside a Porta-Potty on site. Construction crews are required to have safety spotters in place to avoid such accidents but, sadly, these were overlooked and resulted in a terrible death. We’ll take a closer look at the details surrounding what happened at the landfill in Winter Haven and what you should do when an on-the-job accident occurs.
Where Were the Spotters? Construction Worker Using Restroom Crushed to Death
A 40-year old Winter Haven man is dead after he was crushed to death on the job. The construction worker was inside of a Porta-Potty at the North Central Landfill in Polk County when a heavy bulldozer ran over the unit with the victim still inside. The victim has been identified and was working for the Certi-Temp employment agency that was providing workers for the site.
Construction crews are supposed to work in teams when moving heavy equipment, including having safety spotters to help ensure these types of accidents don’t occur. However, at the time of the incident, a large bulldozer was heading uphill and reportedly the driver’s view was blocked by the bucket attachment on the front of the dozer.
The driver who struck the Porta-Potty with the victim inside said that he heard a loud cracking noise before he realized he had hit something and stopped, according to reports. It was at this point that he discovered he had crushed the portable bathroom and found the unresponsive construction worker inside. The driver called the site’s superintendent who in turn called emergency services; sadly, however, the victim died on the scene.
OSHA & Polk County Sheriff’s Office Launch Investigations
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a government body responsible for ensuring workplace safety standards are met. OSHA’s 1926 Standard for Construction deals with mechanized equipment and clearly states:
“A person shall be designated to observe clearance of the equipment and give timely warning for all operations where it is difficult for the operator to maintain the desired clearance by visual means.” (1926.600(a)(6)(iv))
However, in the case of this construction worker being killed on the jobsite, there was no spotter in place at the time of the incident. Rather than take the time to secure a spotter and move the heavy equipment safely, the crew took a shortcut which resulted in a man’s untimely death. Both OSHA and the Polk County Sheriff’s office are actively investigating the incident to determine who will be held accountable for the accident.
Preventing Future Tragedies
Polk County Board of County Commissioners Chair Martha Santiago was quoted in an article by Fox4 Southwest Florida as saying that “[the] incident was a tragic accident. Our Board asks that you keep the family and friends of the deceased in your thoughts and prayers.” Beyond that statement no mention was made as to what County leaders were doing to help prevent future tragedies like this from occurring. That’s where legal representation can help a family start to heal after a workplace accident.
If you go to OSHA’s reported accidents page, you will see row after row of workers killed on the job. There are line workers who were electrocuted to death, manufacturing employees that were crushed, and thousands of other tragic reports. That’s thousands of families who said goodbye to their loved ones after they were killed just trying to provide for their family.
When you or a loved one is injured on the job, or worse, if you’ve lost someone, it’s time to seek a workers’ compensation attorney who can force those responsible to compensate you for your loss. Almost every employer is required to have insurance for these types of incidents, and our team is skilled in reading these policies and getting everything our clients deserve for their case.
Involved in an Accident On the Job? Let’s Talk About Your Case.
Accidents on the job typically go through the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company which are unfortunately known for their low-ball offers or outright denials. Our workers’ comp team is uniquely skilled in this area of the law and we have both the experience and resources to help get you everything you need to be made whole again. As an injured worker, you get to focus solely on your recovery while we manage all of the upfront costs and you won’t pay a dime unless we win your case.
If you’re getting the runaround after a workplace accident, schedule a quick conversation with a Florida workers compensation attorney now. We’ll outline all the options available and review the details of your case completely free of charge.