Pearland Worker Fatality

Trench Collapse at Construction Site Leads to Pearland Worker Fatality

Regardless of the work they do, every worker at every workplace or job site in Texas or anywhere else in the country is entitled to the safest possible workplace, and they are entitled to as much protection from injury and illness as possible. Unfortunately, around Texas, too many employers fail to take their responsibilities seriously and workers and their loved ones end up paying the price.

Case in point; investigators with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are currently at a construction site just south of Pearland in which one worker was killed last week when the walls of the trench he was working in collapsed on to him, burying him and costing him his life. The most troubling aspect of this incident is that according to initial reports from the  Brazoria County Sheriff’s Department, who responded to a 911 call from the site, safety equipment that was designed to protect workers and prevent such a collapse was present at the site, but was not in use at the time.

Several workers were in the process of installing sewer lines as part of an expansion of a large residential subdivision near Rosharon called the Lakes of Savannah. At some point, the walls of their 15-foot-deep trench collapsed in on them as they worked. According to the Sheriff’s Department’s report, deputies noticed that a trench box was readily available at the site, but was not in place at the time. A trench box is a four-sided rectangular steel enclosure that is specifically designed to protect workers from the collapse of a trench wall.

While OSHA has just begun their investigation, it should be noted that the agency’s trenching standards include a requirement that protective systems be used in any trench that is more than five feet deep. The family of the victim of the accident, later identified as 49-year-old Noe Reyes, deserves answers for their loss. Reyes is an employee of Jaho Paving and Utility Contractors, who is a subcontractor at the site. The site’s primary contractor is Savannah Development Ltd.

When OSHA completes its investigation, the failure to use a protective device in a deep trench – a device that was readily available at the site – will be under scrutiny. Again, employers have a duty to the workers at every worksite to keep them as safe as possible. Some companies fail to fulfill their duty to keep workers safe out of a desire for greater profit, or because a supervisor or executive is concerned about meeting deadline. Whatever the reason for such negligence, if someone is injured or killed on the job, they and their loved ones should not have to bear the burden of higher medical bills, lost wages or other income and everything that comes with either an injury or a wrongful death.

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed on the job due to negligence on the part of an employer, please contact the Workplace Injury Lawyer atThe Hill Law Firm as soon as possible, so that we can look into the accident and make sure you get the compensation you’re entitled to.

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