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Construction accident fatality involves trackhoe

One of the leading causes of construction worker injuries is known as "struck by." The term refers to incidents in which a heavy piece of machinery strikes a worker.

These construction accidents are far too common and often cause serious injuries and even fatalities. In a struck-by accident 400 miles west of Manhattan, a worker died earlier this week while helping construct a new transit center in Kent, Ohio.

Late Tuesday morning, the 49-year-old was walking between a slab of concrete and a trackhoe (also known as an excavator) when the heavy machinery moved, pinning him between it and the slab.

Just after six that night, the worker was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

A spokesperson for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said the U.S. Department of Labor is conducting an investigation of the tragedy, including a close look at the subcontractor the worker worked for.

The spokesperson said it isn't clear if investigators will also examine the role of the general contractor, or if fines will be assessed in the case.

"There are times when we can't come up with the amount of documentation we need to issue a citation," the spokesperson said. "It's way too early to speculate. But the potential is there."

Work was suspended for the day at the $26 million transportation center being constructed by PARTA, the Portage Area Regional Transit Agency. Ground was broken on the project a year ago; the project is scheduled for a 2013 completion.

In these kinds of cases, the family of the victim will often turn to an attorney experienced in construction accident cases to learn of their legal options and to find out if they are eligible for compensation for lost wages, funeral costs and other damages.

Source: Patch Kent: "Worker Dies After Accident at PARTA Construction Site," Matt Fredmonsky, March 28, 2012

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