23-year-old Worker Crushed by Backhoe in Bangor Work Accident

A man involved in a Bangor construction accident has died. The young man was reportedly working on a natural gas line project when he was crushed by a backhoe on Odlin Road, according to Bangor Daily News.

The 23-year-old was working for Bowdoin Excavation out of North Yarmouth and was working on a line extension project for Bangor Gas., according to WABI 5.Our Maine workers’ compensation lawyers understand the high risk construction workers face around heavy equipment. Accidents that involve these heavy machines can oftentimes be fatal. When a backhoe runs into a ditch, a stump or a hole, it can overturn or cause the operator to fall off and be run over. It is not uncommon for inexperienced driver to run into fellow workers either. This is why federal job safety standards require that operators of industrial lift-type trucks be thoroughly trained on how to operate the equipment before jumping in the driver’s seat. Under these federal standards, all workers that are under the age of 18 are prohibited from driving or operating the machinery.

“OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), the Attorney General’s office, would be involved in something like this because it’s an unattended death. A medical examiner would be involved because of the nature of the incident and everybody has their part to do. We’ll at some point find out exactly what happened,” says Sgt. Chip Hodges from the Bangor Police Department.

Federal statistics report that more than 5,000 employees died at work in the United State in 2008 alone. Construction equipment operators were among the categories of workers with the highest number of fatalities during that same year, according to OSHA.

Tips for site workers to avoid an accident with a backhoe or any other hydraulic excavator:

-All workers should be trained to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions. They should also be required to execute safe work practices that apply to their specific work environments.

-All workers on the work site should be aware of the machines’ established swing areas and blind spots. Employers should keep workers on foot outside of these areas by marking them off with rope, tape or other barriers.

-Before beginning a work shift, go over and confirm communication signals between machine operators and surrounding workers.

-Workers should be prohibited from standing under suspended loads or suspended machine components such as the boom, arm or bucket.

-Workers on foot should not be allowed to approach the hydraulic excavator or backhoe loader until they receive the go-ahead signal from the operator.

-Workers should never ride in or work from excavator or backhoe loader buckets.

-All workers should have appropriate personal protective equipment. Employers should make sure that workers use and maintain this equipment.

The personal injury lawyers at Peter Thompson & Associates are dedicated to fighting for victims and their families in Bangor or Portland. If you have been injured in a work accident, call for a no obligation appointment to discuss your claim at 1-800-804-2004.

Additional Resources:

One killed in workplace accident on Odlin Road in Bangor, police say, by Dawn Gagnon, Bangor Daily News

More Blog Entries:

Workers’ compensation injuries and personal injury claims, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, October 22, 2010

What if the person who caused my accident doesn’t have enough insurance? Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Maine
, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, September 24, 2010s

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