A man working under a Texas-based contractor has died after suffering serious injuries in Oregon. The 42-year-old man was working for Global Pacific Environmental. That company is performing work for Texas company Burton Construction at a government building in White City, Oregon. The construction project was located at the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center and Clinics. The workplace accident occurred during the afternoon on Jan. 21. The death happened at a building that houses primary care and other medical practitioners.
The man was apparently crushed between a wall and a dump truck. Company representatives are not sure how the accident happened. One man said the victim was not run over by the equipment. However, he said the accident involved a moving vehicle. No equipment malfunctions have yet been discovered. The company is cooperating with the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Organization. Oregon’s OSHA took over the investigation since a contractor was involved. However, federal OSHA will also be investigating.
OSHA investigators will examine any mechanical equipment that may have caused the death. Inspectors will also interview witnesses. Employees will be interviewed as well. A report will then be published within a specified time frame. The company may be responsible for fines if citations are issued.
One government representative rejected the idea that the accident was ‘freakish,’ as described by a company official. OSHA always works to determine the causes of specific accidents. The accident report may be used in future civil matters. Relatives of victims who die at work deserve workers’ compensation. Some companies refuse to pay these amounts. A Texas attorney may be able to provide information for families of victims who have not received their money.
Source: Mail Tribune, “Probe continues into death at SORCC project” Sam Wheeler, Jan. 25, 2014