Deaths on the Job In Virginia Hit a Nine Year High
We were alarmed to read a recent report relating to deaths on the job in Virginia which suggest more people are losing their lives in industrial accidents.
The Virginian-Pilot reported on the death of Tracey R. Chatman who was killed in an accident involving a crane in 2016.
Chatman was tragically crushed to death by the massive tire of a tall gantry crane at Coastal Precast Systems in Chesapeake. The report indicates more and more people are losing their lives in industrial accidents in our area.
The Pilot reported Chatman was killed on April 19, 2016. He was crushed as he waited with a shovel and a wheelbarrow to do his job. The Pilot noted the crane weighted 59 tons.
The report stated 42 people died on the job in Virginia in 2016. It was the highest number of deaths investigated by the state since 2007 when there were 44 deaths.
The 2016 figure was considerably higher than in 2015 and 2014 when there were 31 deaths recorded in both years.
Typically, deaths on the job in Virginia occur in the construction industry, shipbuilding and industries like logging which is the most dangerous profession in the country. Truck drivers usually appear in a list of the 10 most dangerous jobs in the United States.
The Pilot reported the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry investigated the circumstances leading to 32 deaths on the job in 2017.
The Virginian-Pilot reported Coastal Precast was originally fined $154,060 for a number of violations including a citation related to Chatman’s death. However, the company made a case for financial hardship and ended up paying $29,100.
The Pilot report stated Coastal Precast Systems blamed Chatman for not paying attention. However, a state investigation suggested the area should have been cleared before the crane started moving. It said a spotter had to rely on yelling at the crane driver because he lacked a radio to communicate.
In recent years, more construction sites opened up in Hampton Roads with projects like the new Hilton in Norfolk and the Waterside Renovation. Although these have been completed, projects like the Icon apartments in Norfolk are ongoing. In Virginia Beach, the famous Cavalier Hotel is being renovated.
Construction sites remain dangerous places. Site managers do not always follow correct procedures and dangerous equipment may be unguarded and hazardous.
If you have been hurt in an industrial accident in Hampton Roads or a family member has lost their life, please call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at (757) 455-0077.