Recently, in a state near Arizona, two workers dies while working on a highway after a car crossed the median from the opposite lane of traffic. The vehicle struck and killed the two workers, both employees of a concrete company. The driver of the vehicle, who was treated and released from a hospital, now faces criminal charges in connection with this collision. However, police continue their investigation and will check over the car itself in order to make sure mechanical problems did not contribute to the accident.
While machinery failures can cause construction accidents, usually one thinks of the construction worker’s own equipment malfunctioning and thereby creating a dangerous condition. However, such is not always the case, as this recent incident exemplifies.
The reality is that oftentimes construction workers will perform their jobs in the midst of all sorts of different types of equipment. When a construction site involves a highway, workers must also work close to traffic, and a vehicle that veers even slightly off the intended course (because of an equipment failure or otherwise) can cause a fatal accident.
Arizona’s no-fault workers’ compensation system in effect places the burden on employers to ensure that its employees remain safe even when working around vehicles and equipment that can malfunction without warning. Had this accident happened in Arizona, the workers’ immediate families could get workers’ compensation benefits that would hopefully cover the costs of the funeral, more importantly, would replace some of the family’s lost income.
Should a tragedy like this happen in Arizona, the family of the deceased worker may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, even if the accident ultimately is neither the company’s nor the employee’s “fault” strictly speaking.
Source: Highlands Ranch-Herald, “Fatal crash kills two construction workers,” Ryan Boldrey, Nov. 21, 2012