Construction company owners in Texas are responsible for the health and safety of their workers. A part of that responsibility involves safety training, regardless of the experience levels of the workers. Construction accidents that result from mistakes made by inexperienced workers who never received the necessary safety training are all too common.
A tragic example of such an incident was recently reported in another state where a 16-year-old worker was electrocuted. Reportedly, the boy was a part of a construction crew working at a residential project. It was determined that the employer ordered the young worker to access the roof in the front of the house while two co-workers were carrying out tasks in other areas. However, they were all aware of the fact that the youth would have to maneuver on his own a 25-foot ladder that was fully extended.
Investigators reported that he had to negotiate the cramped area in which there were boxwood bushes planted close to the house. His struggle to move between the plants while also trying to maintain control of the extended ladder failed, and the aluminum ladder tilted backward. This caused the worker to fall over, and while he was still holding onto the ladder, it landed on a 7.2-kilovolt power line, causing his electrocution. Rescue workers arrived within eight minutes, but they were not in time to save the life of the teen worker.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health that typically investigates fatal construction accidents determined that contributing factors included the teen being tasked with a job not allowed under youth employment regulations. Also, the lack of safety training that would have taught the young man not to use an aluminum ladder near overhead power lines and not to transport a ladder while it is extended. Legal counsel can provide the necessary support and guidance to the victim’s surviving family members in order to assess their options, including their right to death benefits through the Texas workers’ compensation insurance system.