A 51-year-old man was killed on Jan. 2 when a pile of road salt collapsed onto him while he was working. The accident happened at about 3:30 p.m. at the International Salt facility at New Ford Mill Road and Bordentown Road in Morrisville, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He had been an employee at the facility for the past 15 years.
According to a news report, the pile of salt stood nearly 10 stories high at its peak prior to the collapse. The father of two from New Jersey was reportedly at the controls of an end-loader in close proximity to the pile and was buried under it as it collapsed and fell.
Local emergency crews were dispatched to the scene and used shovels in an attempt to rescue the man. According to police, when he was uncovered, the rescuers found him already dead and still sitting at the controls of his machine. The Bucks County Coroner has stated that he died from asphyxiation.
When a life is lost as the result of another’s negligence, the victim’s immediate family may often be able to file a legal claim of wrongful death against the responsible party. In cases such as this, where the fatality was due to a workplace accident, a wrongful death claim may not be available due to provisions of workers’ compensation laws that cover on-the-job accidents since applying for workers’ compensation typically waives one’s right to filing a lawsuit.
A workers’ compensation attorney, after a comprehensive review of the set of facts surrounding a fatal work accident, may be able to provide advice as to whether filing for benefits or filing a lawsuit would be a more viable approach. The attorney may also be able to explain other benefits under the law that are available to the families left behind.
Source: NBC Philadelphia, “Worker Killed by Road Salt Pile Was Father of 2 “, January 04, 2014