Construction workers in North Carolina put their lives on the line with each shift they work. Unfortunately, compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s safety standards is not the priority of all construction company owners. For this reason, many workers’ compensation claims are construction-related. Working in excavations is one of the most hazardous tasks, and if it involves a confined space, the risks are exacerbated.
A recent incident occurred at the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Two construction workers were doing repairs in an underground utility steam vault. Under circumstances yet to be determined, a supporting steel beam became detached and fell on them. The emergency call went out, and along with the fire department, UNC police and the Orange County Emergency Services responded.
The fire department classified the incident as a collapsed trench, and the fact that these workers were injured and trapped in a confined space below ground level made the rescue more challenging. According to the fire chief, emergency workers benefited from a recent training course in rescues from confined spaces, and both workers were saved and transported to a hospital. In the past, response to such incidents would take longer because the South Orange Rescue Squad would have to be called.
Victims of construction site accidents might be concerned about the financial consequences. Not only will they have to deal with mounting medical bills, but those whose injuries caused temporary disability will also lose wages. Fortunately, and attorney with experience in dealing with the North Carolina workers’ compensation system can help injured workers to claim the benefits to which they are entitled.