A 59-year-old Upper Darby man was killed when he was run over by a bulldozer at a construction site in Northeast Philadelphia. According to Philly.com, the incident occurred in the 5100 block of Pennypack Street near the Philadelphia Fire Academy in the Upper Holmesburg section. The worker was pronounced dead by medics at the scene. Officials said the bulldozer was being operated by another employer when his coworker was struck. The incident is under investigation.
Being struck by an object such as a vehicle or piece of equipment is one of the leading causes of construction accident-related fatalities. Workers are often struck by heavy equipment and vehicles such as bulldozers, trucks, forklifts and cranes. They may also be struck by falling or flying objects such as tools or concrete/masonry walls that are being constructed. Employers such as construction companies and contractors have a responsibility to protect workers from being struck by vehicles and objects on the job.
While these hazards do exist at every construction site, there are ways to prevent or reduce injuries from these types of dangers. Here are a few precautions that must be taken at construction sites to avoid these accidents:
- Check vehicles before each shift to assure that all parts and accessories are in good working order.
- Don’t drive any construction vehicle in reverse gear with an obstructed rear view unless it has an audible reverse alarm or unless another worker signals that it is safe.
- Set parking brakes when vehicles and equipment are parked and chock the wheels if they are parked on an incline.
- All vehicles must have adequate braking systems and other safety devices in place.
- Use traffic signs, barricades or flaggers when construction work takes place near public roadways.
- Workers must be highly visible in all levels of light. Workers should be wearing red or orange vests during the day and if working at night, they should wear vest made out of reflective material.
Compensation for Workers and Their Families
In cases where workers have been injured on the job, they may be able to seek damages through their employer’s worker’s compensation insurance. Injured victims may be able to receive compensation for medical expenses and a portion of lost wages. Families of workers who are killed on the job may be able to seek worker’s compensation death benefits. In some cases, workers or families of deceased workers may be able to file a third-party claim against a party other than the employer. Examples of third parties include general contractors, sub-contractors, manufacturers of defective equipment or machinery, building owners, etc.
Construction accidents in Pennsylvania, regardless of how they are caused, leave workers with debilitating injuries and disabilities. While some are able to successfully return to work, a number of others aren’t able to do so. Many end up losing their livelihoods. In cases where workers are killed doing their jobs, families not only endure the emotional pain of losing a loved one, but are also devastated financially as they lose a wage earner or in many cases, a sole breadwinner.
If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one, our Philadelphia construction accident lawyers can help you better understand your legal rights and options. We will help you hold the at-fault parties accountable and secure fair and full compensation for your damages and losses.