In a recent case, a construction worker’s life was taken after he became caught under a pavement recycling machine. The employee was working in the Englewood neighborhood on the South Side when the tragedy occurred. Martin Marino, 48, was found dead at the scene of the accident.
Mr. Marino became trapped under the machine at 12:45 p.m. on September 12, 2013, and workers were unable to release his body from below the machine until 2:30 p.m. on that same day. Mr. Marino worked as a contractor for Peoples Gas and also worked as an employee for a paving company in the area.
It is unclear whether there was a failure to inform Mr. Marino about the risks associated with the pavement recycling machine or whether he had the necessary training for working with this type of machine. It is also unclear whether any asphalt fumes may have also contributed to his death.
OSHA Regulations and Their Applicability in Construction Accidents
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration sets forth regulations for the construction industry and other types of labor-intensive industries. Employers should always try to stay updated on the OSHA regulations so they can adequately inform their own employees about the dangers of working with certain types of equipment. All too often, employees do not have the training or knowledge that they need to work in a particular industry or for a certain project.
The OSHA Construction regulations set forth the safety and health standards that companies must meet when they hire workers. Under these regulations, employers also must provide certain types of safety equipment for employees who will be working on dangerous sites. Employees must also understand the risks associated with working in enclosed areas or with certain types of machinery.
Investigating the Accident with OSHA
In the present case, an OSHA investigator was sent to the scene of the accident after Mr. Marino’s death became apparent. OSHA will send out an investigator to the scene of the accident, and the investigator will then create an Accident Investigation Summary. The summary will describe the accident as well as the events that lead up to the accident. A summary is available to the public from the OSHA offices. These reports can be highly useful if one intends on filing a lawsuit against his or her employer and can provide necessary information to a judge and jury.
After completing an investigation, OSHA may also decide to issue a citation to an employer. Citations can be issued for a failure to maintain a safe work atmosphere, failure to provide appropriate safety equipment to workers, failure to properly train employees, failure to provide them with the necessary information or for other reasons. When a construction employer or other types of employer receives a citation, it can range in severity. A citation may be serious, willful, repeated or a de minimis violation. If one receives a serious violation, then he or she will have to pay a $7,000 for each violation. The fee for a willful violation may be up to $70,000 or a minimum of $5,000. A repeated violation has a fee of $70,000, while a de minimis violation does not have a fee attached to it.
Consulting a Construction Accident Lawyer for Legal Assistance
It is unclear in this case whether Mr. Marino’s employer will receive any violations or have to pay any fees. The family members of Mr. Marino may be interested in filing a wrongful death action against the employer, and construction accident lawyers are available to help in this matter. When any employee tragically suffers from a road construction death, it is important to investigate the circumstances of his or her situation.