Whenever excavation work has to be done, company owners in Iowa and elsewhere must ensure that there are no utility lines, such as gas lines or electricity cables, that may be compromised. Utility companies must be asked to flag hidden lines before excavation operations begin. Unfortunately, safety regulations are often disregarded, and, in many cases, fatal workplace injuries are the result.
About five weeks ago, a 44-year-old worker suffered severe burn injuries while working on a construction site where gas lines appeared not to have been flagged. An excavator reportedly ruptured a gas line, causing a massive explosion. Reportedly, the worker's injuries initially seemed non-life threatening. Although the burns covered 70 percent of the man's body, medical professionals expected him to survive.
However, he had to undergo surgery last week and did not recover from that. He succumbed to the injuries and the effects of the surgery after surviving for 30 days after the accident. Reportedly the incident is still under investigation. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will likely also launch an investigation, as is customary after any fatal workplace accidents.
After the emotional trauma this man's family has experienced since he suffered these catastrophic workplace injuries, they will now have to face the high costs of end-of-life arrangements, along with all the medical bills for the treatment he received in the time leading up to his death. Fortunately, the family may pursue death benefits through the Iowa workers' compensation insurance system. The benefits will cover all these expenses and will also provide a financial package -- based on the deceased worker's average wage -- to assist the dependents with living expenses for a specified period after their tragic loss.
Source: ksdk.com, "Illinois construction worker dies weeks after explosion", May 2, 2016