A tragic work incident at a Les Schwab Tire Center in Georgetown left a 55-year-old man dead and seriously injured a 29-year-old man. It happened when a bus they were working on crushed them. The Seattle Fire Department says that a jack that was holding the bus up gave out.
Les Schwab put out a statement shortly after the incident that can be interpreted as part sincerity and part damage control. They said they are “deeply saddened to share” news of the passing of one of their employees. Later in their statement, they say that “safety is always a top priority.”
Something went wrong here. Most work accidents that are fatal or caused serious injuries are preventable and usually caused by a failure on the part of an individual or a company. At Russell & Hill, PLLC, we know that work accidents can be devastating. If you need a fatal injury attorney in Seattle, you can count on us to be by your side, working to secure the compensation your family deserves.
When it comes to workplace fatalities in the workplace, we know that the situation has improved over the years according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, from 2016 to 2017 the number of fatalities dropped slightly from 5,190 to 5,147.
We know that 47% of all workplace fatalities happen in the “transportation and material moving occupation groups and the construction and extraction groups.
If we turn to OSHA, we can take a closer look at what they call the “Fatal Four,” the four most common ways that people are killed in the construction industry. They are:
- falls (38.7 percent)
- getting struck by an object (9.4 percent)
- electrocutions (8.3 percent)
- getting caught in between objects (7.3 percent)
Looking at these, and at other industries, we know that most of the workplace fatalities are preventable. The problems often revolve around:
- employers not providing proper training
- employers not providing proper safety equipment
When you go to work, you have the right to expect a safe working environment. In the incident described in the intro story, we do not know what caused the jack to fail, but we are willing to bet that there should have been a backup jack in place or that the failed jack had not been properly inspected or maintained.
What You Can Do Now
If you are here because you have lost a loved one in a fatal work incident, let us extend our condolences for your loss. We know that this is a difficult time for you and we want to help. At Russell & Hill, PLLC, you can be sure we will work tirelessly to uncover what happens and whether or not someone else was at fault. We will pursue compensation for the following:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of future benefits and income of the deceased
- Loss of companionship
- Punitive damages